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Collection abcd in Paris

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Collection abcd in Paris

Oct 18 – Jan 18
Bruno Decharme has been a collector of art brut for more than 30 years and the abcd collection holds 3,500 works by 300 artists, spanning from the mid-nineteenth century to recent works. Featured artists will include Adolf Wölfli, Carlo Zinelli, George Widener, Janko Domsic, Edmund Monsiel, Judith Scott and Henry Darger.

10 Bd de la Bastille – 75012 Paris, FRANCE
(caption: Aloise Corbaz)

Started in the 80’s the collection was shown for the first time in 2000 at the Campredon Museum of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue; since then it has continued to travel through Europe, the USA, Asia and has been enriched by a number of works and artists. It is now recognized as the most important private collection of art brut.

In recent years we have witnessed the growing visibility of art brut. There is a number of studies with often ambitious goals, a new generation of researchers but also collectors passionate about the field and that is good. Exhibitions displaying the term “art brut” multiply, yet few of them keep their promises; too often their promoters aware of the hype surrounding the label do not hesitate to associate all kinds of productions that are very distant from it — “singulier”, “hors les normes”, “outsider” etc. — creating confusion and misunderstanding. Surprisingly it is in the places usually exhibiting other art forms — modern or contemporary — that the most inventive shows have taken place, for example Augustin Lesage and Elmar Trenwalder, the Inspired at La maison rouge in Paris in 2008, Dwelling Poetically on this Earth at LaM in 2011, Entrance of the Mediums: Spiritualism and Art from Hugo to Breton at the House of Victor Hugo in 2012-2013, Alternative Guide to the Universe at Hayward Gallery in 2013 and recently the Venice Biennale in 2013, to name a few.

What can we learn from this experience? Essentially that art brut is a mysterious island, a territory that must be approached by a modest and respectful explorer to try to grasp its secrets, identify its specificities and let oneself by carried away by the delights of a utopian quest. abcd has worked on enriching these reflections in a spirit of openness, sharing the dreams and thoughts of those who have taken back roads in the most varied and unexpected art fields. We believe that art brut must be taken out of the ghetto; while these artists have been socially marginalized their creations are at the heart of History and feed the river of knowledge. It is therefore appropriate to show them among other human productions while still taking great care of presenting them for what they are. And above all, constantly fine tune your focus, let your instincts guide you, discover new treasures, let yourself be enchanted by their magic and intoxicated by their thousand scents.

These are the objectives of abcd for the next 15 years ... then we’ll see.