What is Raw Art ?
- In the first half of the 20th century, many doctors began to collect the drawings and paintings of their patients. Collections are assembled by Hans Prinzhorn in Heidelberg in Germany, and the doctor Morgenthaler in Bern.
- Dubuffet, who has visited several of these psychiatric hospitals, begins to collect this type of work. In 1945, “Dubuffet baptized “ART BRUT” (RAW ART) an art which he had been collecting for several years, art which included both the art of madmen and that of marginalized people of all kinds : prisoners, recluses, mystics, anarchists or rebels” Danchin and Musardy in 1995
- Another definition given by Dubuffet in 1949, during an exhibition of his works at the Drouin gallery in Paris: “By this we mean works executed by people free from artistic culture, in which therefore mimesis, contrary to what is goes to intellectuals, has little or no share (???), so that their authors draw everything there (subjects, choice of materials used, means of transposition, rhythms, ways of writing, etc.) from their own background and not clichés of classical art or fashionable art. We are witnessing a very pure, raw artistic operation, reinvented in its entirety in all its phases by its author, based solely on his own impulses. “(Jean Dubuffet, L’art brut préféré aux arts culturels, 1949)
- Another definition given in 1964 By Dubuffet himself: “Works having as authors people foreign to the intellectual circles, generally free from any artistic education, and with which the invention is exercised, therefore, without any incidence does not alter their spontaneity.”(Jean Dubuffet, Fascicule de l’Art brut, 1964)
- Dubuffet constitutes a collection of works which will first be administered by the “Compagnie de l’art brut” in Paris. Faced with the refusal of the French authorities to transform this collection into a Museum, all of these works will be donated to the Lausanne Museum in 1971, where it is still located, under the name of “Collection de l’Art Brut”.
- Main French places where RAW ART can be found: the Fabuloserie in Dicy, the Franche Creation Museum in Bègles, the Villeneuve d’Asq Museum (which enlarged its premises in 1997 to accommodate the Aracine’s Collection), Fernand Michel Raw Art Museum in Montpellier, “La Halle Saint Pierre” in Paris (with remarkable temporary exhibitions), the “Maison Rouge” (which will close in 2018), the ABCD collection in Montreuil, the Christian Berst gallery in Paris. Of course, the most important Museum of Raw Art is in Lausanne since 1975, instead of being in France. A true shame for the state politic of the France government!!!
- Some relevant writings on Raw Art : Michel Thévoz, L’Art Brut, Genève, Albert Skira, 1975, 225 p / Françoise Monnin, L’Art brut, tableaux choisis, Paris, Scala, 1997, 127 p. / Laurent Danchin, Martine Lusardy et al., Art ousider and Folk art from the Chicago collections, Paris, Halle Saint Pierre, 1999, 229 p
- A particularly important magazine at international level: RAW VISION