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Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne

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until April 29, 2018

Curated by Gustavo Giacosa, "3rd Art Brut biennial: CORPS" features some 300 drawings, paintings, photos and sculptures, and illustrates the multiple ways in which art brut can represent the human body.

Collection de l'Art Brut
Av. des Bergières 11, 1004 Lausanne, Switzerland


From www.artbrut.ch:

With "the body" as its leitmotif, the third edition of our Art Brut biennials (following Véhicules in 2013 and Architectures in 2015), presents works belonging exclusively to the Collection de l'Art Brut holdings, and linked together by a common theme. Gustavo Giacosa, who besides being an exhibition organizer is also an actor, dancer and stage director, has been invited to design the presentation. Thanks to its new theme, this show enables us to highlight the full wealth of the Lausanne museum's collections, presently encompassing some 70,000 works. 

Embracing at once the intimate and the universal, the human body is one of Western art history's major motifs. Starting from the mystery of "the Word made flesh," the body makes it possible to express the divine, as well as the injuries inflicted throughout human history. The body's representation in art is a metaphor that refers to the context in which the work was conceived and the emotions it evokes. However, the body also serves as a platform upon which to construe collective or individual legends. Far from representing a univocal sign, the body is a reflection of how the margins and the centers of our society are positioned. 

Featuring some 300 drawings, paintings, photos and sculptures, this show illustrates the multiple ways Art Brut has come up with to represent the human body. At the same time, it pays due tribute to the intimate dialogue ensuing between the creators and their creations. 

The works represent a series of "battles" waged by their creators—barring any intercession or concession—with their own image and singular life experience. For some, the body represents a haven marked by complex intimacy; others see it as a prison from which to flee, or else a center of energies needing to be freed and transformed. 

Rarely on display, this show's prisoner tattoos attest to the interest they kindled in the eyes of Jean Dubuffet—founder of the Art Brut concept and of the Lausanne museum for creations on the fringes of the art world. Guo Fengyi and Robert Gie illustrate the fluids that flow through our body. Carlo Zinelli and Giovanni Bosco confront us with dismembered bodies. Aloïse Corbaz, Sylvain Fusco and Giovanni Galli see the body as a source of carnal pleasure, as testified by the big-breasted female figures featured in their drawings and paintings. Meanwhile, Josef Hofer deals almost exclusively with representations of the male body and its overblown sexuality. Some creators illustrate the body's internal mechanisms: Katharina and Sylvain Lecoq both come to mind. Drawings by respectively Ataa Oko and Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern feature various bodily metamorphoses. And, finally, there remains the ultimate bodily transformation as represented by skeletons and Death itself— seen in works of, notably, Emile Josome Hodinos, Giovanni Battista Podestà and Vojislav Jakic.