ARTIST FOCUSANNA ZEMÁNKOVÁ
(1908-1986 MORAVIA)

DIGITAL EXHIBITION ARTIST FOCUS
BIOGRAPHY EXHIBITIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHY  


EXHIBITION #7, The Museum of Everything (Tasmania) 2017/8

EXHIBITION #6, The Museum of Everything (Rotterdam) 2016

IL PALAZZO ENCICLOPEDICO, LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA (VENICE) 2013

EXHIBITION #1.1, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING, CHALET SOCIETY (PARIS) 2012/13

OSTALGIA, NEW MUSEUM (NEW YORK) 2011

EXHIBITION #1, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING 
(LONDON) 2009/10

INNER WORLDS OUTSIDE, WHITECHAPEL GALLERY (LONDON) 2006

ART UNSOLVED, IRISH MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (DUBLIN) 1998

EXOTIC SPECIES: THE ART OF ANNA ZEMÁNKOVÁ, HIGH MUSEUM OF ART (ATLANTA) 1997

COLECTIE ARNULF RAINER MUSEUM DE STADSHOF (ZWOLLE) 1996

SÃO PAULO BIENNALE 1981

OUTSIDERS, HAYWARD GALLERY (LONDON) 1979

Anna Zemánková

ARTIST FOCUSANNA ZEMÁNKOVÁ
(1908-1986 MORAVIA)

DIGITAL EXHIBITION ARTIST FOCUS
BIOGRAPHY EXHIBITIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHY  


CATALOGUE OF EVERYTHING #6, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING 2016

GROUNDWATERS: A CENTURY OF ART BY SELF-TAUGHT & OUTSIDER ARTISTS, CHARLES RUSSEL (PRESTEL) 2011

EVERYTHING #1, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING
(ELECTA) 2010

SELF-TAUGHT AND OUTSIDER ART, ANTHONY PETULLO, (UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS PRESS) 2005

L’ART BRUT, L’ART OUTSIDER ET AU-DELA, JOHN MAIZELS (PHAIDON) 2003

VERNACULAR VISIONARIES, ANNIE CARLANO AND JOHN BEARDSLEY (YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS) 2003

L’ART BRUT TCHEQUE, MARTINE LUSARDY AND ALENA NADVORNIKOVA (HALLE SAINT PIERRE) 2002

ARTISTS OF PURE HEART, ED. BY ANEZKA SIMKOVA (PAVEL KONECNY COLLECTION) 2001

OUTSIDER ART: SPONTANEOUS ALTERNATIVES, COLIN RHODES (THAMES & HUDSON) 2001

ART BRUT ET COMPAGNIE, LAURENT DANCHIN (HALLE SAINT PIERRE) 1995

ARTIST FOCUSANNA ZEMÁNKOVÁ
(1908-1986 MORAVIA)

DIGITAL EXHIBITION ARTIST FOCUS
BIOGRAPHY EXHIBITIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHY  

HER DRAWINGS HAVE THE DEPTH AND COMPLEXITY OF STRANGE BIOLOGICAL SPECIMENS, FOR SHE WAS DRAWING A WONDERFUL HERBARIUM OF THE IMAGINATION.MASSIMILIANO GIONI, VENICE BIENNALE 2013

 

Biography
ANNA ZEMÁNKOVÁ
WAS NOT AN ACTRESS LIKE HER COUSIN, NOR AN OPERA SINGER LIKE HER GRAND-DAUGHTER, NOR A SCULPTOR LIKE HER SON. SHE WAS A HUMBLE HOUSEWIFE WITH A PRIVATE MID-LIFE HOBBY. BORN IN MORAVIA IN 1908, ZEMÁNKOVÁ HAD DRAWN AS A GIRL. YET WHAT BEGAN AS A HESITANT REVIVAL OF CREATIVITY, EVENTUALLY BECAME AN ESSENTIAL MEANS TO CHANNEL THE BREADTH, COMPLEXITY AND CONFLICT OF DAILY LIVING. IF ZEMÁNKOVÁ CALLED HER CREATIONS FLOWERS, WHAT THEY CONTAINED WAS MORE COMPLEX THAN THIS SHORTHAND IMPLIED, THEIR BEAUTY BOTH REPELLING AND SEDUCING WITH A POETIC, AUTOMATIC FINALITY.

 

THROUGHOUT THE 1960S AND 1970S ZEMÁNKOVÁ'S PRACTICE GREW. EVERY DAY BEFORE DAWN, INSPIRED BY JANÁČEK AND BEETHOVEN, SHE CHANNELLED HER ENERGIES INTO A NEAR-DEVOTIONAL CUSTOM, FEARING BLACK, FAVOURING YELLOW, SHE DREW, SHADED AND STITCHED HER BOTANY INTO BEING.

LOCAL EXHIBITIONS INTRODUCED HER TO THE CZECH CREATIVE COMMUNITY. ARTIST JIŘÍ ANDERLE , FILMMAKER JAN ŠVANKMAJER AND PLAYWRIGHT VÁCLAV HAVEL BECAME COLLECTORS. THE MEDIUMISTIC OVERTONES ATTRACTED ARTIST ARNULF RAINER AND THE COLLECTION DE L’ART BRUT IN LAUSANNE. YET FOR MOST OUTSIDE THE EASTERN BLOC, ZEMÁNKOVÁ REMAINED UNKNOWN AND UNSEEN, ACQUIRED ONLY BY THE SELECT FEW.

EVERYTHING CHANGED IN 2011 WHEN CURATOR MASSIMILIANO GIONI FEATURED ZEMÁNKOVÁ IN OSTALGIA AT THE NEW MUSEUM IN NEW YORK. IN 2013 HE INSTALLED OVER A DOZEN WORKS ON PAPER IN THEIR OWN GALLERY AS PART OF THE ENCYCLOPAEDIC PALACE AT THE 55TH VENICE BIENNALE, FINAL PROOF OF HIS BELIEF IN ZEMÁNKOVÁ AS AN IMPORTANT HISTORIC ARTIST.

IT IS NO COINCIDENCE THAT ANNA ZEMÁNKOVÁ REMINDS US OF THE PIONEERS OF 20TH CENTURY WOMEN’S ART. THE GHOSTS LOOM LARGE, BE THEY GEORGIA O’KEEFE AND LOUISE BOURGEOIS, OR DOROTHEA TANNING AND UNICA ZÜRN. SUCH COMPARISONS REMIND US THAT THIS GIFTED MAKER, BORN IN ANOTHER TIME AND PLACE, REMAINED SECRET WHILE HER PEERS DID NOT, HER INVISIBILITY A SHIELD WHICH ENABLED AN URGENT AND EXPANSIVE PRACTICE TO FLOURISH, UNINTERRUPTED BY THE DEMANDS OF ART.

TODAY, CRITICS DESCRIBE ZEMÁNKOVÁ‘S WORK AS AN ILLUSTRATED INNER LIFE, REPLETE WITH PSYCHIC SYMBOLS AND EROTIC METAPHORS. YET FOR THE ARTIST HERSELF, THE TRUTH WAS AS SIMPLE AS IT WAS PROFOUND:

I SEE SOMETHING, A SORT OF DEEP FEELING INSIDE, IT STAYS WITH ME AND LATER, I PUT IT ONTO PAPER.Anna Zemánková, ARTIST

NINA KARASEK (JOËLE)
(1883-1952, Austria)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY


Karasek was a Viennese genre painter who became possessed by the spirit of Dutch master, Rembrandt van Rijn. From her mid 40s onwards, she drew and painted on behalf of the greats of art history: from Leonardo da Vinci to Francisco Goya. As her extraordinary opus evolved, Karasek assumed the name of a primordial alter-ego - Joële - to author a private mythology, made only more obscure by impenetrable notes scrawled on the back of each drawings.

ARTIST FOCUS: NINA KARASEK (JOËLE)
(1883-1952, Austria)

ARTWORKS ARTIST FOCUS
BIOGRAPHY EXHIBITIONS


Karasek was a Viennese genre painter who became possessed by the spirit of Dutch master, Rembrandt van Rijn. From her mid 40s onwards, she drew and painted on behalf of the greats of art history: from Leonardo da Vinci to Francisco Goya. As her extraordinary opus evolved, Karasek assumed the name of a primordial alter-ego - Joële - to author a private mythology, made only more obscure by impenetrable notes scrawled on the back of each drawings.

ARTIST FOCUS: NINA KARASEK (JOËLE)
(1883-1952, Austria)

DIGITAL INSTALLATION                                       ARTIST FOCUS
BIOGRAPHY                                                          EXHIBITIONS


The Medium’s Medium: Spiritualist Art Practices From the Turn of the Century and Beyond
The Gallery of Everything, London, 29 September - 24 November 2019

Plants of the Soul: Floral Fantasies between Symbolism and Outsider Art.
Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany,  31 March - 4 August 2019

Flying High: Women Artists of Art Brut
Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna, Austria,  15 February - 23 June 2019

Alma: Mediums and Visionaries
Es Baluard Museum, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 15 February - 2 June 2019

Entrée des médiums: Spiritisme et art d’Hugo à Breton
La Maison de Victor Hugo. Paris, 18 October 2012 - 20 January 2013

HILMA AF KLINT
(1862 - 1944, Sweden)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY


HILMA AF KLINT – ARTIST, RESEARCHER, VISIONARY, HATJE CANTZ VERLAG, 2020

HILMA AF KLINT – VISIONARY, BOKFORLAGET STOLPE AB, 2019

HILMA AF KLINT – PAINTINGS FOR THE FUTURE, SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, 2018

HILMA AF KLINT
(1862 - 1944, Sweden)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY


Af Klint was a trained artist for whom theosophical enlightenment led to a disciplined visual investigation of psychical abstraction. At her request, her several thousands of drawings and paintings were kept secret, both during her lifetime and posthumously. The depth and breath of af Klint’s production, notably her monumental series, Paintings for the Temple, evidences a radical aesthetic far ahead of the mainstream and inspired entirely by the paranormal realms.

HILMA AF KLINT
(1862 - 1944, Sweden)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS


THE HILMA AF KLINT ROOM, THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (STOCKHOLM) PERMANENT DISPLAY

HILMA AF KLINT – ARTIST, RESEARCHER, MEDIUM, MODERNA MUSEET (MALMÖ) 2021

HILMA AF KLINT: PAINTINGS FOR THE FUTURE, SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM (NEW YORK) 2018/19

HILMA AF KLINT – MUNDOS POSSIVEIS, APAC (SÃO PAULO) 2018

HILMA AF KLINT: PAINTING THE UNSEEN, SERPENTINE GALLERIES (LONDON) 2016

ANN EDHOLM MÖTER HILMA AF KLINT, STRANDVERKET (SWEDEN) 2016

HILMA AF KLINT – A PIONEER OF ABSTRACTION, (MALAGA, STOCKHOLM, LOUISIANA, COPENHAGEN, TALLINN) 2013/16

HILMA AF KLINT – UNE MODERNITÉ RÉLÉVÉ, CENTRE CULTUREL SUÉDOIS (PARIS) 2008

AN ATOM IN THE UNIVERSE, CAMDEN ARTS CENTRE (LONDON) 2006

HILMA AF KLINT, MODERNA MUSEET (STOCKHOLM) 2005/06

THE PARADISE, THE DOUGLAS HYDE GALLERY (DUBLIN) 2004/05

GEOMETRI OCH ANDLIGHET, BILDMUSEET (SWEDEN) 2004

THE SECRET PICTURES BY HILMA AF KLINT, MOMA PS1 (NEW YORK) 1989

HILMA AF KLINTS HEMLIGA BILDER (HELSINKI, REYKJAVIK, MOSS) 1988

Rev. William A. Blayney
1918 - 1985 (USA)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY


Curry, Marshall. “William A.Blayney,” Self-Taught Artists of the Twentieth Century: An American Anthology, edited by Elsa Longhauser, et al. New York: Museumof American Folk Art, 1998.

Owsley, David T. “William A.Blayney/Self-Taught Pittsburgh Painter.” Carnegie Magazine, vol. 54 (March 1980): 4–9

Rev. William A. Blayney
1918 - 1985 (USA)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY


Blayney abandoned his life as an auto-mechanic to become an ordained Penacostal minister in the 1970s. His allegorical paintings were originally intended to complement his teachings, most typically with scenes of death and destruction, inspired by the Book of Revelations.

Rev. William A. Blayney
1918 - 1985 (USA)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY


HIEROGLYPHICA, STEPHEN ROMANO GALLERY (NEW YORK) 2015/16

OPUS HYPNAGOGIA: SACRED SPACES OF THE VISIONARY AND VERNACULAR, THE MORBID ANATOMY MUSEUM (NEW YORK) 2015

HEAVEN + HELL, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY MUSEUM OF ART (LUMA) AND THE INTUIT: THE CENTER FOR INTUITIVE AND OUTSIDER ART (CHICAGO) 2012

Rev. William A. Blayney
1918 - 1985 (USA)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY


Blayney abandoned his life as an auto-mechanic to become an ordained Penacostal minister in the 1970s. His allegorical paintings were originally intended to complement his teachings, most typically with scenes of death and destruction, inspired by the Book of Revelations.

Adolf Wölfli
1864 - 1930 (Switzerland)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

WORLD MADE BY HAND, ANDREW EDLIN GALLERY (NEW YORK) 2016

ON THE BORDER, AARGAUER KUNSTHAUS (SWITZERLAND) 2015

PORTRAITS, THE WHITWORTH ART GALLERY (MANCHESTER) 2015

ADOLF WÖLFLI. UNIVERSUM.!, MUSEUM GUGGING (ÖSTERREICH) 2014

ACCIDENTAL GENIUS: ART FROM THE ANTHONY PETULLO COLLECTION, MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM (MILWAUKEE) 2012

ADOLF WÖLFLI UNIVERS, LILLE METROPOLE MUSÉE D'ART MODERNE, D'ART CONTERMPORAIN ET D'ART BRUT (LILLE) 2011

WELTENWANDLER, DIE KUNST DER OUTSIDER, SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE (FRANKFURT) 2010

APPROACHING ABSTRACTION, AMERICAN FOLK ART MUSEUM (NEW YORK) 2010

ADOLF WÖLFLI UNIVERSUM, EINE RETROSPEKTIVE, KUNSTMUSEUM BERN (SWITZERLAND) 2008

ADOLF WÖLFLI (1864-1930), LACABANE (SWITZERLAND) 2005

ADOLF WÖLFLI: MEMORANDUMM (1926), MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS BERN (SWITZERLAND) 2000

ALOÏSE – ADOLF WÖLFLI, ZWEI KLASSIKER DER ART BRUT, KULTURABTEILUNG BAYER (LEVERKUSEN) 1996

ADOLF WÖLFLI, RUPERTINUM (SALZBERG) 1996

ADOLF WÖLFLI, PHYLLIS KIND GALLERY (NEW YORK) 1993

ADOLF WÖLFLI, HOCHSCULE DER KUNSTE (BERLIN) 1982

ADOLF WÖLFLI, COMPAGNIE DE L'ART BRUT (PARIS) 1948

Adolf Wölfli
1864 - 1930 (Switzerland)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY


ADOLF WÖLFLI: CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, Nakladatelstvi Arbor vitae, 2013

THE ART OF ADOLF WÖLFLI, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2003

Adolf Wölfli
1864 - 1930 (Switzerland)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY


The prolific and narcissistic Wölfli is often considered the patron saint of l’Art Brut. Jean Dubuffet discovered his work on an investigative trip to Switzerland, where he met with Dr Walter Morgenthaler, the pioneering physician who published a monograph on his patient-artist. Wölfli’s semi-autobiographical output was fêted by the Surrealists for its dense indecipherable prose, complex musical annotation and ethnological influences.

Almighty God (Kwame Akoto)
b 1950 (Ghana)


ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY  

 

Africa Explores, Susan Vogel (New York), 1991 
Plus Jamais Seul, Maison Rouge, 2016-2017
Exhibition #1.1, The Museum of Everything, 2012

Almighty God (Kwame Akoto)
b 1950 (Ghana)


ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY  

 

Almighty God (Kwame Akoto) is a professional sign-painter and lay-preacher, whose graphic messages and conceptual imagery have been championed by the likes of artist Hervé di Rosa and curator Susan Vogel.

Trained in sign and vehicle painting as a teenager, Almighty God established his studio in the mid-70s - God Almighty Art Works - to further his career and earn a living. Yet as his prolific output developed, so a much more profound and personal practice emerged, motivated by his quest for truth and redemption.

Almighty God’s production explores moral and spiritual philosophy, warns against physical, sexual and narcotic diversion, and seeks to uncover familial and political intrigue. His moral imperatives and conceptual strategies sit alongside observations of great intimacy and sensitivity.

This prolific and potent practice occupies a distinct position in contemporary African art. Almighty God is an outlier, yet he is also an elder statesman - as unique as he is quintessentially African. Like a free-jazz trumpeteer, he tests and breaks the limits of each composition, with a pop sensibility, graphic elegance and his signature poetic text.

Almighty God’s work has been exhibited in Susan Vogel’s Africa Explores (1991), Hervé di Rosa’s Plus Jamais Seul at Maison Rouge (2016-2017) and at The Museum of Everything (2012).

ABU BAKARR MANSARAY
b 1970 (Sierra Leone)

 

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

Alpha Crucis, exhibition catalogue, Museum Astrup Fearnley, 2020

EXHIBITION #7, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING 2018

Design Histories between Africa and Europe, flow of forms, forms of flow, Kerstin Pinther, Alexandra Weigand (eds.) Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg, Germany, Transcript Design 2018

Essentiel Paysage - Artistes Contemporains Africains face à l'environnementexhibition catalogue, Fondation Alliances, Musée MACAAL, Brahim Alaoui (Ed.), p. 159 2017

ABU BAKARR MANSARAY
b 1970 (Sierra Leone)

 

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

Citizen/scientist, artist/inventor, social/commentator, afro/futurist. Abu Bakarr Mansaray is an independent image-maker who is today respected as one of the pioneers of contemporary African art.

Mansaray’s idiosyncratic draughtsmanship stems from a childhood fascination with the magical and the scientific. His mythical machines, with their astounding details and interlocking visuals, seem otherworldly at first glance. Yet their origins are as personal talismans for a young man trapped by the horrors of Sierra Leone’s Civil War.

For it was during adolescence in the capital, Freetown, that the artist first combined his love of mathematics, engineering and science, with the manufacture of pseudo-kinetic models. These sculptures evolved an intimate science-fiction, which referred both to the tribal beliefs of his community and the horrors of the violence around him.

Fleeing to Holland in the 1990s, Mansaray continued to explore themes of conflict. As his confidence grew, so the works grew physically. Titles like SUFISTICATED HELL LIZARD, CHAMBER OF THE UNKNOWN, THE WITCH PLANE and BEYOND CREATION evidenced that both the inventor and his inventions remained inventive.

Yet this intricate detailing, logic and functionality, has always been counterbalanced by the delight with which the author chooses his words, names and captions. It is these, which hark back to the child within, whose fearless ego is nicknamed: The Master.

Mansaray’s practice continues to serve as a personal line of defence. For him, art treads a careful line between reality and fiction. For contained within each work is an aesthetic warning to mankind and a headline to jump-start social change and cohesion.

First displayed internationally at the Lyon Biennale (2000), Abu Bakarr Mansaray has risen to prominence through a number of key exhibitions, notably Simon Njami’s Africa Remix (2004), Why Africa (2008) at Pinacoteca Agnelli (Torino), Art/Afrique (2017) at Fondation Louis Vuitton (Paris) and The Museum of Everything (2016/17/18). The artist was also presented by curator Okwui Enwezor at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015).

Collections include the Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC), the Houston Museum of Fine Art and The Museum of Everything.

ABU BAKARR MANSARAY
b 1970 (Sierra Leone)

 

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

Alpha Crucis, Museum Astrup Fearnley (Oslo, Norway) 2020

Rothko in Lampedusa, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Palazzo Querini, (Venice, Italy) 2019

EXHIBITION #7, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING (TASMANIA) 2017/8

Afro-Tech and the Future of Re-invention, Begleitheft zur Ausstellung, Exhibition Booklet, HMKV Hartware Medien Kunst Verein (Dortmund, Germany) 2018

Design Histories between Africa and Europe. Flow of Forms / Forms of Flow, Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg (Germany) 2018

Art/Afrique : le nouvel atelier _ The Insiders : a selection of works (1989 to 2009) from the Jean Pigozzi collection of contemporary African Art, Fondation Louis Vuitton (Paris, France) 2017

Flow of Forms / Forms of Flow, Institut d'histoire de l'art, Louis-et-Maximilien University (Munich, Germany) 2017

AFRICA. Raccontare un mondo, PAC Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea (Milano, Italy) 2017

Regarding Africa: Contemporary Art and Afro-Futurism, Art Museum (Tel Aviv, Israel) 2016

56ème Biennale de Venise, All the world's futures (Venice, Italy) 2015

Here Africa, Musée des Suisses dans le Monde (Geneva, Switzerland) 2014

African Stories, Ancienne Banque du Maroc, Marrakech, Morocco ARTPARIS+GUESTS. André Magnin & Leridon Collection, Grand Palais (Paris, France) 201

ACM, Mansaray, Rigo 23 & Volyazlovsky, Andrew Edlin Gallery (New York, USA) 2010

Insiders, CAPC (Bordeaux, France) 200

Africa ? Una nuova storia, Complesso del Vittoriano (Roma, Italy) 2009

Why Africa ? La collezione Pigozzi, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli (Torino, Italy) 2007

100% Africa, Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao, Spain) 2006

African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, USA National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution (Washington DC, USA) 2005/2006

Arts of Africa, The Contemporary collection of Jean Pigozzi, Grimaldi Forum (Monaco) 2005

Africa Remix, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf (Germany) / Hayward Gallery (London, UK) / Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France) / Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, Japan) / Johannesburg Art Gallery (Johannesburg, South Africa) 2004/2007

Partage d'Exotismes, Biennale d'art contemporain (Lyon, France) 2000

JOHNSON WEREE
b 1970 (Liberia)


ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

CATALOGUE OF EVERYTHING #6, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING 2016

JOHNSON WEREE
b 1970 (Liberia)


ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

THROUGH THE EYES OF JOHNSON WEREE ALL ARE BEAUTIFUL.

AS A CHILD GROWING UP IN WAR-TORN LIBERIA, WEREE WOULD SALVAGE WHAT DISCARDED MATERIALS HE COULD TO ILLUSTRATE HIS PORTRAITS. TODAY, IN THE RELATIVE COMFORT OF HOLLAND, A CONTEMPORARY PALETTE OF UNLIMITED DAZZLE HAS REPLACED THE BATTERY FLUID AND BLOOD.

WEREE HAS NEITHER STUDIO NOR HOME, NO SITTERS OR PATRONS. LIKE THE ARTIST HIMSELF, HIS PRACTICE IS ITINERANT. A SAFEGUARD AGAINST THE OUTSIDE WORLD, IT IS AN ELABORATE DAILY RITUAL WHICH OCCUPIES ITS AUTHOR MORNING TO NIGHT.

THE CENTRAL MARKS OF WEREE’S OEUVRE ARE THE MESMERISING FEATURES OF AN IMAGINARY PEOPLE. THEY STARE UNAPOLOGETICALLY FROM THE CARD. MEN'S HAIRLINES RECEDE ABOVE DOGGISH NOSES AND PENCIL-THIN LIPS. WOMEN SPORT BRIGHT BLUSH CHEEKS AND MULTI-TONE MASCARA. FIGURES APPEAR WITHIN FIGURES, AS BUTTON-HOLES, CLOUD FORMS OR EVEN THIRD EYES.

THIS IS SURELY A BESPOKE POPULATION, A VISUAL FRONTLINE, WHERE SIMILARITY AND DIFFERENCE ARE CELEBRATED IN UNISON. HIS PARTICULAR FORM OF FIGURATIVE PRODUCTION, WHICH IS AT ONCE BOTH RECOGNISABLE AND FOREIGN, MAKE WEREE'S SUBJECTS SEEM QUITE UNENCUMBERED BY THE LIMITATIONS OF TRADITIONAL PORTRAITURE. THEY FUNCTION INSTEAD AS MIRRORS, AS RESPLENDENT AS MONARCHS, AND AS ELUSIVE AS DREAMS.

WEREE'S WORKS ARE TO BE FOUND IN A NUMBER OF PRIVATE COLLECTIONS. THEY HAVE BEEN EXHIBITED INTERNATIONALLY AT THE SVEN HARRYS MUSEUM IN STOCKHOLM (2013) AND THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING IN ROTTERDAM (2016).

JOHNSON WEREE
b 1970 (Liberia)


ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

FRANCIS MARSHALL AND THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, The Gallery of Everything, (London) 2017

EXHIBITION #6, The Kunsthal of Everything (Rotterdam) 2016

Sister Gertrude Morgan
1900-1980 (USA)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Walks to the Paradise Garden, Jonathan Williams, Roger Manley, Guy Mendes, Phillip March Jones (Institute 193) 2019

Let’s Make a Record, Sister Gertrude Morgan & King Britt, 2005

The Tools of Her Ministry: The Art of Sister Gertrude Morgan, William A Fagaly (Rissoli International Publications) 2004

Free Within Ourselves: African-American Artists in the Collection of the National Museum of American Art, Regenia A Perry (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art in Association with Pomegranate Art Books) 1992

Black Folk Art In America, John Beardsley & Jane Livingston (University Press of Mississippi) 1980

Interview Magazine, Rosemary Kent, 1973

God’s Greatest Hits, Rod McKuen (Stanyan Books, Random House) 1970

Sister Gertrude Morgan
1900-1980 (USA)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

PHOTOGRAPHED BY LEE FRIEDLANDER, LIONISED BY ANDY WARHOL, RE-MIXED BY KING BRITT, THE REMARKABLE SISTER GERTRUDE MORGAN (NÉE GERTRUDE WILLIAMS) WAS A RARE AND RARIFIED FIGURE IN THE AESTHETIC HISTORY OF 20TH CENTURY AMERICA: A CONFIDENT FEMALE ARTIST, WHOSE VISCERAL IMAGE-MAKING WENT HAND-IN-HAND WITH THE SAVING OF SOULS.

BORN IN 1900 IN LAFAYETTE, ALABAMA, MORGAN WAS AS MODEST AS SHE WAS LARGER-THAN-LIFE. HER NEW ORLEANS GOSPEL MISSION WAS A SPIRITUAL HOME FOR BELIEVERS AND NON-BELIEVERS ALIKE. FOR IT WAS HERE THAT SHE PROSELYTISED AND PAINTED AND RATTLED HER TAMBOURINE, WHEN SHE WAS NOT OUT SINGING, PREACHING AND TEACHING BIBLE TO NEIGHBOURHOOD STRAYS. THESE MOMENTS BECAME THE CONTENT OF HER LEGEND.

MORGAN DEPICTED THE EVERYDAY ALONGSIDE THE DIVINE, OUTPUTTING HER PICTORIAL RHETORIC ONTO ANY SURFACE SHE COULD FIND. SCRAPS OF CARD, WINDOW BLINDS, PAPER FANS AND SERVING TRAYS CARRIED HER REPERTOIRE. THEY EVOKED A BIOGRAPHICAL OTHER-WORDLY HYBRID, WHERE NEW JERUSALEM RESEMBLED NEW ORLEANS, AND WHERE THE GOOD SISTER’S MARRIAGE TO JESUS, GOD OR BOTH, SWIRLED AMONG THE HEAVENLY BODIES AND ELIPTICAL TEXTS.

ALTHOUGH THE BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT WAS PEAKING ON THE EAST COAST OF AMERICA, MORGAN REMAINED REMOTE FROM THEIR COMMUNITY, SEPARATED BY NOT ONLY BY GEOGRAPHICAL DISTANCE, BUT ALSO BY ARTISTIC INTENT. SHE WAS A LOCAL LOUISIANA HERO, EVEN A STAR: A STOUT, MIDDLE-AGED, AFRICAN-AMERICAN LADY, WHO WAS SUCCESSFULLY PAINTING - AND EXHIBITING HER PAINTING - AT A TIME WHEN FEW PEERS DARED EVEN EXPOSE THEIR MATERIAL, LET ALONE IN THE RACIST, MISOGYNIST AND CONSERVATIVE SOUTH.

OFTEN TO BE SEEN ON THE STREETS IN HER SIGNATURE WHITE PINAFORE, IT WAS THE PERFORMATIVE NATURE OF HER PRACTICE WHICH BROUGHT HER TO THE ATTENTION OF LARRY BORENSTEIN AND ALLEN JAFFE. WORKING TOGETHER, THESE HIGH-OCTANE STALWARTS OF THE CITY BROUGHT MORGAN’S WORK INTO DIALOGUE WITH THE WIDER ARTS COMMUNITY VIA BORENSTEIN’S ART GALLERY AT PRESERVATION HALL. MORGAN’S PROLIFIC OUTPUT LED TO A FAST UPTAKE AMONGST THE NEW ORLEANS ARTS COMMUNITY OF THE 1960S AND 1970S, REACHING NEW YORK VIA ANDY WARHOL’S INTERVIEW AND A 1973 ARTICLE BY ROSEMARY KENT.

MAJOR EXHIBITIONS WERE TO FOLLOW, INCLUDING THE CORCORAN GALLERY’S BARRIER-BREAKING BLACK FOLK ART IN AMERICA 1930-1980 (1982), WHICH TOURED THE US. ALMOST 40 YEARS AFTER HER PASSING, A MAJOR RETROSPECTIVE CURATED BY WILLIAM FAGALY OPENED AT NEW YORK’S AMERICAN FOLK ART MUSEUM. TODAY SISTER GERTRUDE MORGAN HAS BEEN REDISCOVERED BY A YOUNGER GENERATION OF AMERICAN AND INTERNATIONAL CURATORS.

HER WORK WAS MOST RECENTLY FEATURED IN OUTLIERS AND THE AMERICAN VANGUARD ART (2019), CURATED BY LYNNE COOKE AND TRAVELLED FROM THE NATIONAL GALLERY AT THE SMITHSONIAN (WASHINGTON DC), TO THE HIGH MUSEUM (ATLANTA) AND LACMA (LOS ANGELES). HER EMBLEMATIC SONG I GOT A NEW WORLD IN MY VIEW (1970) WAS FEATURED IN THE MARTIN LUTHER KING JR BIOPIC, SELMA (2014); AND HER CLASSIC LET’S MAKE A RECORD WAS REWORKED BY DJ AND PRODUCER KING BRITT IN 2005.

Sister Gertrude Morgan
1900-1980 (USA)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Outliers and the American Vanguard Art, Lynn Cooke, travelling exhibition, 2019

The Tools of Her Ministry: The Art of Sister Gertrude Morgan, American Folk Art Museum (toured NOMA and The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago), 2004

Black Folk Art In America 1930-1980, Corcoran Gallery (toured San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Saint Louis Art Museum, The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Des Moines Art Center and the Cleveland Museum of Art), 1982

Louisiana Folk Paintings, American Folk Art Museum, 1973

Sister Gertrude Morgan
1900-1980 (USA)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

I am a missionary of Christ before I'm an artist.
Sister Gertrude Morgan (1973)


Photographed by Lee Friedlander, lionised by Andy Warhol, re-mixed by King Britt, the remarkable Sister Gertrude Morgan (née Gertrude Williams) was a rare and rarified figure in the aesthetic history of 20th century America: a confident female artist, whose visceral image-making went hand-in-hand with the saving of souls.

Born in 1900 in Lafayette, Alabama, Morgan was as modest as she was larger-than-life. Her New Orleans Gospel Mission was a spiritual home for believers and non-believers alike. For it was here that she proselytised and painted and rattled her tambourine, when she was not out singing, preaching and teaching Bible to neighbourhood strays. These moments became the content of her legend.

Morgan depicted the everyday alongside the divine, outputting her pictorial rhetoric onto any surface she could find. Scraps of card, window blinds, paper fans and serving trays carried her repertoire. They evoked a biographical other-wordly hybrid, where New Jerusalem resembled New Orleans, and where the good Sister’s marriage to Jesus, God or both, swirled among the heavenly bodies and eliptical texts.

Although the Black Arts Movement was peaking on the East Coast of America, Morgan remained remote from their community, separated by not only by geographical distance, but also by artistic intent. She was a local Louisiana hero, even a star: a stout, middle-aged, African-American lady, who was successfully painting - and exhibiting her painting - at a time when few peers dared even expose their material, let alone in the racist, misogynist and conservative South.

Often to be seen on the streets in her signature white pinafore, it was the performative nature of her practice which brought her to the attention of Larry Borenstein and Allen Jaffe. Working together, these high-octane stalwarts of the city brought Morgan’s work into dialogue with the wider arts community via Borenstein’s art gallery at Preservation Hall. Morgan’s prolific output led to a fast uptake amongst the New Orleans arts community of the 1960s and 1970s, reaching New York via Andy Warhol’s Interview and a 1973 article by Rosemary Kent.

Major exhibitions were to follow, including the Corcoran Gallery’s barrier-breaking Black Folk Art in America 1930-1980 (1982), which toured the US. Almost 40 years after her passing, a major retrospective curated by William Fagaly opened at New York’s American Folk Art Museum. Today Sister Gertrude Morgan has been rediscovered by a younger generation of American and international curators.

Her work was most recently featured in Outliers and the American Vanguard Art (2019), curated by Lynne Cooke and travelled from the National Gallery at the Smithsonian (Washington DC), to the High Museum (Atlanta) and LACMA (Los Angeles). Her emblematic song I Got a New World in My View (1970) was featured in the Martin Luther King Jr biopic, Selma (2014); and her classic Let’s Make a Record was reworked by DJ and producer King Britt in 2005.

Felipe Jesus Consalvos
1891-c1960 (Cuba/USA)

BIOGRAPHY ARTWORKS


A self-appointed “artist, healer, and man,” and former tobacco-roller, Felipe Jesus Consalvos extrapolated the vernacular tradition of cigar-band collage to a highly sophisticated, inimitable practice. Born near Havana in 1891 and eventually emigrating to Miami in the early 1900s, Consalvos settled in New York and, finally, Philadelphia, where he passed away in the mid-1960s. It was at a Philadelphia car-boot sale in the early 1980s where his obsessively large body of work was rediscovered posthumously; approximately 850 surviving collages on paper, found photographs, musical instruments, furniture, and other unexpected surfaces.

Consalvos merges the biting socio-political satire and absurdist impulse of Dadaists like Max Ernst, Hannah Höch and Kurt Schwitters with the arcane mysticism of Bruce Conner and Joseph Cornell. Consalvos therefore parallels and foreshadows certain contemporaneous developments in Futurist, Pop collage, Surrealist, design, and even poetry. Preferring to leave his works untitled and undated, one can only estimate that Consalvos created his collages between 1920 and the late 1960s—during the very time in art history that the radical juxtaposition of images were taken to new levels of sophistication.

Terry Williams

b 1952 (Australia)

BIOGRAPHY ARTWORKS          


Soft sculptures have become synonymous with the current practice of eclectic and prolific maker Terry Williams, whose work over the past thirty years encompasses animation, ceramics, sculpture, text, drawing and watercolour.

Working from Arts Project Australia in Melbourne, Williams has engaged in a diverse exploration of materials and techniques to interpret figures, animals and domestic items, both real and imagined. A keen observation of the world and a lifelong fascination with UFOs, science fiction and extra-terrestrial life result in a hybrid collision of human and alien existence. Textiles are cut out and hand-sewn together, their conspicuous woollen stitching restraining bulging interiors filled with polyester batting and found materials.

Through layering and assembling, commonplace objects and imagined creatures come together, transformed into enigmatic and memorable forms that neatly elude the restrictive categories of Contemporary Art. Nonetheless, Williams is an astonishing artist whose work has gained him critical acclaim internationally, including a solo presentation at White Columns (New York), curated by Ricky Swallow (2015).

Julian Martin

b 1969 (Australia)

BIOGRAPHY ARTWORKS          


The pastel practice of Australian maker Julian Martin reveals a rare ability to distil the world into a balance of colour, shape and tone. Martin has refined his idiosyncratic style over the past 30 years, working from the renowned studio and exhibition programs for artists with disabilities, Arts Projects Australia.

Early experiments with painting soon yielded to Martin’s trademark medium of pastel and an intense exploration of the space between representation and abstraction. The artist’s own reflection, photographs and quotidian object are continuously reinterpreted and sublimated into essential forms, floating on intensely coloured grounds, ever reoccurring yet always changing.

Showing an uncanny ability to find the universal in the commonplace, Martin’s oeuvre is witness to a steady and unrelenting trajectory towards total abstraction. Yet, the uncompromising two-dimensionality of the pure form finds its presence in the physical realm, the densely pigmented sheets of colour gently scarred with etching implements, bearing the sign of the artists intense engagement with the medium for hours at a time.

ARTIST FOCUS: HEINRICH NÜSSLEIN
(1879-1947, Germany)

ARTWORKS           ARTSY
ESSAY  
 
The Gallery of Everything presents Artist Focus: a series of short essays which consider (re)discovered visual authors with significant bodies of work, and position them in a context within and beyond mainstream culture.

In the aftermath of the First World War, the sheer number of dead inspired a search for meaning beyond the devastation. The 19th century movement known as Spiritualism offered respite to some, through belief in - and communication with - the dead.


One of the most idiosyncratic artists to emerge from this popular movement was Heinrich Nüsslein: a photographer, author and antiquarian, whose immersion in Theosophy would eventually propel him to notoriety throughout his native Germany.

Nüsslein was born on 20 April 1879 in Nürnberg, where he trained as a typographer and bookbinder. Yet extreme near-sightedness, almost a form of blindness, meant this predominantly visual individual did not complete the National Art School in Nürnberg.

Séances after the war stimulated a revival of his creative practices. Automatic drawings and clairaudience (an auditory form of clairvoyance) led Nüsslein to the realisation that art demanded no physical subject or visible presence to give licence to his inner visions.

The Dadaists in Paris and Switzerland had followed a similar trajectory. Yet if their motivation was intellectual, inviting change to guide creativity, Nüsslein’s was propelled by belief and need. Spiritualism had opened up a practice denied by ocular disability.

In common with other Theosophic artists, such as Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky and Hilma af Klint, Nüsslein was interested in the depiction of the other. Yet for him, this was not to be found in the abstraction of time and space, but in the depiction of an alternate fantastical reality.

Inspired (perhaps) by his employment at Trenkler & Co, a Leipzig company specialising in photographic postcards of Greek landscapes, Nüsslein commenced a series of astral travels: glazed quasi-biblical oil paintings, depicting ancient Germanic and Mexican peoples.

These iridescent desertscapes looked like little else of the period. They shone with otherworldliness, harbouring ghost-like figures under their monumental cloudforms. Moreover, each seemed to have been finger-painted in the dark in less than fifteen minutes.

As his practice continued, Nüsslein became convinced that the Nürnberg painter Albrecht Dürer was guiding his hand. This denial of authorship, common among spiritualist artists, was central to Nüsslein’s practice, describing himself as an artisan or a psychical picture-writer.

Nüsslein made a living from his production. In several series, known as Karmaschauen, the artist offered patrons the opportunity to purchase visual investigations into their past lives, with explanatory Nüssleinian text on their reverse (for a rare example for sale, please click HERE).

Nusslein experienced considerable fame before the war and exhibited in London, Paris and at his home at Schloss Kornburg, Nürnberg. Yet with the rise of Nazism, his output lessened. His work was classified as Entartete Kunst (or degenerate art) and seized by the authorities.

Before his death the artist claimed to have painted over 20,000 paintings. It is more likely that he realised several thousand, of which only a few hundred remain today.

Artist Focus: Heinrich Nüsslein is accompanied by a digital installation of artworks. To view the exhibition, click HERE

Anna Hackel
1864-? (Moravia)

Not much is known about this Moravian spiritualist, displaying motifs of blooms and inflorescences in the style of Art Brut artists.

Unica Zürn
1916-1970 (Germany)

Zürn is remembered for works of anagram poetry and automatic drawing; and for her photographic and intimate collaborations with Hans Bellmer—which led to her suicide.

Janet Sobel
1894-1968 (Ukraine)

Eastern European émigré whose drip-painterly Brighton Beach practice inspired the abstract magpie eyes of Jackson Pollock, yet who returned to informal obscurity without true recognition for her aesthetic due.

Minnie Evans
1892-1987 (USA)

Visionary dreamscape architect of Trinidadian slave descent, whose draw-or-die practice tied mythic animals, religious symbology and botanical imaginings into a cosmic colourwash symmetry, where all-seeing eyes open pathways to the oneness of our maker.

Consuelo (Chelo) González Amezcua
1903-1974 (Mexico)

The dream visions and sacred poems of this angelic Mexican-American numbered well into the thousands, and were channelled through no more than the humble medium of a cheap ballpoint pen.

James Castle
1899–1977 (USA)

Unable to read, write, hear or sign, this master draughtsman’s silent mirror reflects an inner life of drawings and constructions of soot, spit and string.

KARL FRIEDRICH JUNKER
1850-1912 (Germany)

Painter, designer, craftsman and carpenter, whose lifetime legacy was the Junkerhaus: a multi-dimensional marvel of detail and craft, which never housed the family for which its singleton maker longed.

JAMES 'SON FORD' THOMAS
1926-1993 (USA)

The muddy Yazoo riverbanks gave their clay to this rowdy Delta Bluesman and one-time gravedigger, to mould it unfired into hoodoo skulls and furnish with wigs, shades and real teeth.

HAWKINS BOLDEN
1914-2005 (USA)

Sightless Creole sculptor whose protective scarecrows of pots and pans frightened away the birds with their flapping leather tongues and metal-punctured eyes.

ABBÉ FOURÉ
1839-1910 (France)

Pious and eventually parish-less, Abbé Fouré retired to the coast and embarked upon an intense, unusual and celebrated sculptural practice. Today, many hundreds of mythic and religious figures carved directly on to the coastline still stare out to sea, a monument to the memory of the self-styled Hermit of Rothéneuf.

GEORGE WIDENER
b 1962 (USA)

Contemporary artist, whose photographic memory and numerical literacy are revealed on expansive disasterstrewn paper-napkin tableaux.

PETER HAND
b 1928 (UK)

Meticulous and multi-talented maker, whose film industry background inspires mythic movie miniatures, as complex private psychologies are played out for all who care to see.

HANS-JÖRG GEORGI
(b 1949, Germany)

Gravity-defying aircraft of carefully adhered cardboard flee an uninhabitable planet in the visceral yet unknowable adventures of this pop-loving aerialist.

SAM DOYLE
(1906-1985, USA)

Store clerk, laundry worker and Gullah visual folklorist whose outdoor gallery of local notables and African-American heroes inspired a young Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Almighty God (Kwame Akoto)
b 1950 (Ghana)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY  


Almighty God (Kwame Akoto) is a professional sign-painter and lay-preacher, whose graphic messages and conceptual paintings have been championed by the likes of artist Hervé di Rosa and curator Susan Vogel. God Almighty’s practice is prolific and profound, ironic and pop. He occupies a rarified position in contemporary African art: a distinctive elder statesman, who is as universal as he is quintessentially African. God Almighty’s work has been exhibited in Susan Vogel’s Africa Explores (1991), at the The Museum of Everything (2012) and worldwide.

BILL TRAYLOR
1854-1949 (USA)

The original godfather of African-American art-making, whose sidewalk silhouettes of city folk and village animals were cast in his comic world of exciting events.

JUDITH SCOTT
(1943-2005, USA)

Late-blooming non-verbal maker whose emotive assemblies of wool, yarn and thread came to be only when her twin sister rescued her from instutionalisation.

GUO FENGYI
1942-2010 (China)

Retired factory worker whose daily practice of Qigong inspired visions of health and spirituality, ethereal energy drawings which anticipated her own demise.

HENRY DARGER
(1892-1973, USA)

Devout hermit and legendary illustrator whose secret sequential panoramas reveal how his self-penned lifetime fairy-tale fictionalised a tough and troubled childhood.

GEORGE E OHR                  FOLDED FORMS OF GEORGE E OHR [ST MORITZ]
1857-1918 (USA) 06.02.20 - 09.02.20

 

ARTWORKS                                             EXHIBITIONS 
BIOGRAPHY                                            BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

THE FOLDED FORMS OF GEORGE E OHR, NOMAD (ST. MORITZ) 2020

REGARDING GEORGE OHR: CONTEMPORARY CERAMICS IN THE SPIRIT OF THE MAD POTTER, BOCA RATON MUSEUM OF ART (MIAMI) 2017/18

THE FOLDED FORMS OF GEORGE E OHR, The Gallery of Everything AT FRIEZE MASTERS (London) 2017

George Ohr, Craig F Starr Gallery (New York) 2015

Pierre Legullion featuring George Ohr, Carnegie International (Pittsburgh) 2013

A Secret History of Clay, Tate Liverpool (Liverpool) 2004

Up Front: George E Ohr, Mill College Art Museum (California) 2001

George Ohr Modern Potter, Smithsonian Museum (Washington) 1990

George Ohr: Modern Potter, American Craft Museum (New York) 1989

George Ohr, Mississipi State Historical Museum (Mississippi) 1978

GEORGE E OHR                  FOLDED FORMS OF GEORGE E OHR, NOMAD ST MORITZ
1857-1918 (USA) 06.02.20 - 09.02.20

 

ARTWORKS                                             EXHIBITIONS 
BIOGRAPHY                                            BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

George Ohr Sophisticate and Rube, Ellen J. Lippert (Mississippi) 2013

 

George Ohr The Greatest Art Potter on Earth, Eugene Hecht (Skira Rizzoli) 2013

The Mad Potter George E Ohr Eccentric Genius, Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan (Neal Porter) 2013 

American Masters of The Mississippi Gulf Coast : George Ohr, Dusti Bongé, Walter Anderson, Richmond Barthé, Patti Carr Black (Mississippi) 2009

George Ohr, Art Potter The Apostle of Individuality, Robert A. Ellison Jr. (Scala) 2006

Pottery, Politics, Art, George Ohr and the Brothers Kirkpatrick, Richard D. Mohr (University of Illinois) 2003

After the Fire George Ohr: An American Genius, Eugene Hecht (Arts and Crafts Quarterly) 1994

The Mad Potter of Biloxi The Art and Life of George E Ohr, Garth Clark, Robert A. Ellison, Jr. and Eugene Hecht (Abbeville) 1989

VALERIE POTTER AUTOBIOGRAPHIC
b 1954 (UK) 12.01.20 - 15.03.20

 

ARTWORKS      EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

It was a chance discovery in a second-hand bookshop which inspired the drawings and tapestries of Margate-based artist VALERIE POTTER.

Upon reading the seminal Outsider Art (1972 ) by Roger Cardinal, POTTER decided to send its author some drawings. The art historian was so impressed, he curated POTTER’s first solo exhibition at the University of Kent (1985), recommending her to collector Monika Kinley.

Although always creative, POTTER did not consider herself an art-maker. Born in Kent, she had spent a childhood in Nigeria and an adolescence in Jamaica, alongside her father, a teacher and educator. At 19, POTTER enrolled at art school, but found it restrictive and left.

POTTER continued to draw and paint. When she caught sight of a stranger, cross-stitching on a local train platform, she considered whether fabric might give her more freedom and portability. It was a moment of realisation; and it led the artist to explore a new and exciting format.

POTTER’s practice shifted. Elaborate weaves described personal associations. Fantastical landscapes and microscopic worlds were fuelled by the artist’s love of botany. They tied together symbols of birth, death and love with non-religious iconography.

Complex and swirling monochromatic works formed the next phase of her production. The line-drawings on cloth (as she describes them) used graphic text and image to describe the dense inner monologues, dialogues, even trialogues, of POTTER’s analytic mind.

These materialisations offered a means to articulate ideas and concerns, philosophies and phobias. Yet if most were conceived for an audience of one, their effect was multiple. POTTER's whimsical works were noticed by artist Susan Hiller and writer Marina Warner.

POTTER continues to live and work in Margate, where she also writes poetry and knits. Her drawings, paintings, tapestries and embroideries have been exhibited at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin, UK), Whitechapel Gallery (London, UK), Whitworth Museum (Manchester, UK) and Tate Britain (London, UK). Collections include the Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester, UK) and Bethlem Museum of the Mind (Kent, UK).

CARLO ZINELLI AUTOBIOGRAPHIC
1916-1974 (ITALY) 12.01.20 - 15.03.20

 

ARTWORKS         EXHIBITIONS         
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

CATALOGUE OF EVERYTHING #6, THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING 2016

La folie de l’art brut, Roxana Azimi (Éditions Séguier) 2014 


Borderline, Artisti tra normalista e follia, Gabriele Mazotta, Museo d'Arte della citta di Ravenna 2013

Carlo Zinelli, The Museum of Everything 2013

Collection de l’Art Brut, Lucienne Peiry, Collection de l'Art Brut (Skira-
Flammarion) 2012

EVERYTHING #1, The Museum of Everything 
(Electa) 2010

Outsider Art, From the Margins to the Marketplace, David Maclagan (Reaktion
books) 2009

Inner worlds outside, Fondacion 'la Caixa', Irish Museum of Modern Art (Whitechapel
Gallery) 2006

L'Art brut, L'Instinct créateur, Laurent Danchin (Découverte Gallimard) 2006

Dubuffet & Art Brut, Lucienne Peiry (5 Continents Editions & Museum Kunst Palast) 2005

Carlo Zinelli (Somogy Editions d’art) 2003

Vernacular Visionaries: International Outsider Art, Annie Carlano (Yale University Press) 2003

L'Art Outsider, Art brut et création hors normes au XXe siecle (Thames & Hudson) 2001

Self-Taught and Outsider Art (University of Illinois Press) 2011

Art Brut, collection de L'Aracine, Musée d'Art Moderne, 1997

Carlo: Tempere, Collages, Sculpture, 1957-1974, Museo di Castelvecchio Vérone 1992

Catalogue de la collection de l'art brut, publications de la collection de l'Art
Brut 1971

CARLO ZINELLI AUTOBIOGRAPHIC
1916-1974 (ITALY) 12.01.20 - 15.03.20

 

ARTWORKS           EXHIBITIONS         
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

EXHIBITION #7, The Museum of Everything (Tasmania) 2017/8

EXHIBITION #6, The Museum of Everything (Rotterdam) 2016

IL PALAZZO DI EVERYTHING, THE MUSEUM of EVERYTHING, COLLATERAL EVENT OF THE 55TH VENICE BIENNIAL 2013

EXHIBITION #1, THE MUSEUM of EVERYTHING (LONDON + TURIN) 2009/2010

ART, GENIUS AND MADNESS, SANTA MARIA DELLA SCALA MUSEUM COMPLEX, SIENA, MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART (CHICAGO) 2009

THE FIGURES, THE HISTORIES OF IRREGULAR, NEW NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MONACO, 2006

INNER WORLDS OUTSIDE, WHITECHAPEL GALLERY (LONDON) 2004

CARLO ZINELLI, MUSÉE DES ARTS INTERNATIONAL MODESTES (SÈTE) 2003

IN SEARCH OF LOST MINDS, TRENTO HISTORY MUSEUM, SANTA CLARA CULTURAL SPACE (TRENTO) 2002

VERNACULAR VISIONARIES, THE FOLK ART MUSEUM (SANTA FE) 2002

THE COLOURS OF THE MIND, PALAZZO REALE (MILAN) + IRISH MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (DUBLIN) 1999

ART BRUT, FROM THE UNDERGROUND TO THE CONSECRATION, MUSÉE D’ETENOGRAPHIE
(GENEVA) 1997

THE GINZA ART SPACE (TOKYO) 1994

PARALLEL VISIONS MODERN ARTISTS AND OUTSIDER ART, CENTRO DE ARTE REINA SOFIA (MADRID) 1992

PARALLEL VISIONS MODERN ARTISTS AND OUTSIDER ART, LACMA (LOS ANGELES) 1985

JEAN DUBUFFET AND ART BRUT VENICE, PEGGY GUGGENHEIM COLLECTION (VENICE) 1985

ART BRUT, KUNSTHALLE BERNE 1963

CARLO ZINELLI AUTOBIOGRAPHIC
1916-1974 (ITALY) 12.01.20 - 15.03.20

 

ARTWORKS           EXHIBITIONS         
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Championed by legendary French artist Jean Dubuffet, Carlo Zinelli is a master of art brut whose oeuvre was inspired by his personal experiences of conflict.

Born in San Giovanni Lupatoto, near Verona, Zinelli spent his early years working on the land as a farm labourer and living peacefully with his family. At the age of eighteen, he enlisted to fight in the Spanish Civil War, where he endured severe shell shock on the front line and returned unable to speak or recount in any way the horrors, which he had experienced.

In 1947 Zinelli’s family suggested he move to accommodation at a hospital in San Giacomo, near Verona. An art studio located on the grounds encouraged patients to draw, paint and sculpt. Zinelli lobbied to be included and, once accepted, dedicated his life to painting.

Working for up to eight hours every day, Zinelli began to create a bold individualistic body of work. Impressionistic recreations of the landscapes and characters of his youth were set against the brutal backdrop of war.

Memories of the countryside and travelling circuses were presented within frames of swirling repetitive text, echoing Zinelli’s own faltering speech patterns. It was as if the man himself had become a symbol of his own disaster.

Zinelli’s distinctive double-sided works were brought to the attention of Jean Dubuffet, who crowned Zinelli a master of the genre and, inspired by Zinelli’s free-spirited autobiographical gouaches, incorporated the unknown Italian’s aesthetic into his own prolific oeuvre. Zinelli’s work was soon being included in private and museum collections across Europe and America.

When the San Giacomo Hospital closed in 1971, the 55-year-old Zinelli was transferred to a new institution where he was no longer able to continue his daily art practice. He died in 1974.

VALERIE POTTER AUTOBIOGRAPHIC
b 1954 (UK) 12.01.20 - 15.03.20

 

ARTWORKS      EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

VALERIE POTTER IS THE BRITISH ILLUSTRATOR AND TEXTILE ARTIST, WHOSE IDIOSYNCRATIC DRAWINGS AND TAPESTRIES WERE CURATED BY ART HISTORIAN ROGER CARDINAL AND COLLECTOR MONICA KINLEY.

GERTRUDE HONZATKO-MEDIZ
(1893-1975, Austria)

Gertrude Honzatko-Mediz was the daughter of the Austrian artist couple Emilie Mediz Pelikan and Karl Mediz. Shortly after her mother's death, spiritualist séances were held at her aunt's house, at which a medium established contact with her mother. Soon, the 16-year-old Gertrude herself experienced mediumistic trance states in which she communicated with her mother and other “spirit friends” on the other side, under whose guidance she began to make drawings. In a regular spiritualistic exchange with her mother, a kind of collaborative effort beyond the boundaries of immanence, the mother gave her, as it were, drawing lessons from the afterlife.

The mediumistic work of Gertrude Honzatko-Mediz suggest, that she did not regard herself exclusively being just an instrument of powerful spirit guides without autonomy but that her art was largely produced in collaboration with disembodied entities. There are several historical examples of the notion of mediumistic art as an autonomous collaborative interaction of drawing and painting mediums with their spiritual guides.

EVA ŠVANKMAJEROVÁ
(1940-2005, Czechoslovakia)

DIGITAL INSTALLATION           ARTIST FOCUS

Biography

Surrealist painter, ceramicist and writer, whose marriage to, and collaborations with, animator and filmmaker Jan Švankmajer, led to one of the most significant bodies of work in the Czech Republic. Her profilic oeuvre of paintings, drawings, and ceramics are widely known to aficionados of Czech feminist art and include the series of mediumistic works currently on display.

HENRIETTE ZEPHIR
(1920-2012, France)

Mediumistic artist who, considering herself an instrument of forces of the netherworld, devoted her life to the fulfillment of the expressive demands of her spirit guide. Working in trance-like sessions, Zephir would follow the guide’s commands by compulsively filling pages with lines  or by scrupulously transcribing dictated messages from another planet. Identified by Jean Dubuffet, this clairvoyant’s meandering creations were subsequently exhibited in 1967.

AGATHA WOJCIECHOWSKY
(1896-1986, Germany)

Wojciechowsky was a medium and healer who gained notoriety in surrealist circles for her prolific guided drawings. Her abstracted practice of figures and lines commenced in the early 1950s, and was discovered and promoted by curator Kaspar Koenig. Exhibited in her lifetime alongside such artists as Man Ray, Francis Picabia and Marcel Duchamp, Wojciechowsky’s works have long since entered public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art.

SHANNON TAGGART
(b 1977, USA)

Inspired by a series of personal revelations, artist Shannon Taggart has spent almost twenty years documenting fragments of spiritualist subculture and shedding light on contemporary mediumistic practices. Former artist-in-residence at Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum, Taggart has been published in Time, The Financial Times and Newsweek. The Medium’s Medium is Taggart’s first exhibition in the United Kingdom.

Photographs by Shannon Taggart are available for sale through The Gallery of Everything. Please contact the gallery by email here or for a selection of works click here.

JAN ŠVANKMAJER
(b 1934, Czechoslovakia)

Surrealist author, artist, animator, and filmmaker, known for dark re-imaginings of fairy tales and obsessive investigations into human (mis)behaviour. Winner of numerous plaudits, his revolutionary stop-motion and live-action films inspired a legion of young filmmakers with their radical idiosyncrasy and post-communist aesthetic. Švankmajer’s various inspirations include the art of his late partner, Eva Švankmajerová, and a collection of magical and mediumistic art.

For a selection of available works please click HERE.

AUSTIN OSMAN SPARE
(1886-1956, UK)

Offbeat and contrary, and London-born, Spare was a trained draughtsman and child prodigy, who gained notoriety as the youngest painter ever accepted into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Yet it was his profound interest in magic, sexuality, the unconscious and the occult, which came to dominate his art. Spare worked obsessively, illustrating, printing, exhibiting and publishing. His work has become highly prized, particularly in its depiction of the other.

VICTOR SIMON
(1803-1976, France)

The least known of the three major French spiritualists, Simon commenced his practice after receiving a mediumistic message from his mentor, Augustin Lesage, in 1933. His first major artwork was subsequenelty exhibited at the Salon des Independents in 1935. After the war, Simon worked as an accountant, while composing his increasingly ornate heavenly canvases and was named Honorary President of the Circle of Experimental and Scientific Spiritualism.

FRANTIŠEK JAROSLAV PECKA
(1878-1960, Czechoslovakia)

A published author on evolutionary history, František Jaroslav Pecka was a geologist, archaeologist and paleontologist, whose immersion in spiritualist study inspired an extraordinary body of work.

His (re)discovered proto-psychedelic spirit portraits and finger paintings, produced in trance and accredited to the departed, led to his status as one of the most avant-garde figures within early 20th century mediumistic art.

For a selection of available works please click HERE.

For the FRANTIŠEK JAROSLAV PECKA // Artist Focus please click HERE.

HEINRICH NÜSSLEIN
(1879-1947, Germany)

DIGITAL INSTALLATION           ARTIST FOCUS

Biography

Despite (or because) of an ocular condition, Heinrich Nüsslein explored visual culture throughout his life: from antiquities to photography to art. Inspired by sceances, his apocryphal visions, finger-painted in pitch-blackness, described alienated landscapes and portraits of the so-called others. These were accompanied by dense, supposedly explanatory text, ascribed to the departed voices of art history’s luminescent many.

RAPHAËL LONNÉ
(1910-1989, France)

Jazzed-up postman and part-time spiritualist whose joyous multitudes and landscapes fed off the energies of his hourly practice. It was the spiritualist meetings in the 1950s which led to these mediumistic drawings, and Lonné grew convinced that he was blessed with supernatural powers. Lonné’s shadowy organic structures attracted the interest of Jean Dubuffet, who saw Lonné as an outstanding representative of art brut and bought hundreds of drawings.

AUGUSTIN LESAGE
(1876-1954, France)

The towering architectures of Augustin Lesage seem to draw from ancient iconography; yet the artist claimed that he was neither an artist, nor the author of his own production. As a healer, this former miner had been guided by voices to paint the beyond. His highly personal practice developed into monumental compositions, filled with mystical, religious and historical references and performed in public to convert the uninitiated - and to reveal the ultimate truth.

For a selection of available works please click HERE.

EMMA KUNZ
(1892-1963, Switzerland)

Healer, researcher and artist, Kunz was an auto-didact who self-published three books and produced hundreds of geometric drawings by hand. She approached these not as formalism, but as a means of structuring philosophical, scientific and spiritual ideas. Using line and grid, Kunz’s diagrams explored belief systems and restorative practices. Her work won significant posthumous recognition, notably by curators Harald Szeemann and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

JOSEF KOTZIAN
(1889-1960, Czechoslovakia)

Ostravian designer and machinist whose precisely-dated drawings form a monochromatic compendium of other-worldly botany. With every drawing rendered in astonishing detail, it was the refined precision of each pencil stroke which bolstered Kotzian’s reputation. He eventually adopted the pen-name Solferino and went on to become a figurehead for spiritualist art, with works exhibited internationally and a lasting influence on subsequent mediumistic artmakers.

HILMA AF KLINT
(1862 - 1944, Sweden)

ARTWORKS EXHIBITIONS
BIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY


Af Klint was a trained artist for whom theosophical enlightenment led to a disciplined visual investigation of psychical abstraction. At her request, her several thousands of drawings and paintings were kept secret, both during her lifetime and posthumously. The depth and breath of af Klint’s production, notably her monumental series, Paintings for the Temple, evidences a radical aesthetic far ahead of the mainstream and inspired entirely by the paranormal realms.

ARTIST FOCUSNINA KARASEK (JOËLE)
(1883-1952, Austria)

DIGITAL EXHIBITION ARTIST FOCUS
BIOGRAPHY EXHIBITIONS


KARASEK WAS A VIENNESE GENRE PAINTER WHO BECAME POSSESSED BY THE SPIRIT OF DUTCH MASTER, REMBRANDT VAN RIJN. FROM HER MID 40S ONWARDS, SHE DREW AND PAINTED ON BEHALF OF THE GREATS OF ART HISTORY: FROM LEONARDO DA VINCI TO FRANCISCO GOYA. AS HER EXTRAORDINARY OPUS EVOLVED, KARASEK ASSUMED THE NAME OF A PRIMORDIAL ALTER-EGO - JOËLE - TO AUTHOR A PRIVATE MYTHOLOGY, MADE ONLY MORE OBSCURE BY IMPENETRABLE NOTES SCRAWLED ON THE BACK OF EACH DRAWINGS.

ERNST JOSEPHSON
(1851-1906, Sweden)

Classically trained in Sweden, Josephson emigrated to France in 1879 in search of inspiration. Within ten years, delusions led him to embrace spiritualist practice. Catalysed by seances, Josephson’s visions took on material form. The radical paintings (and poems) were amongst his most dynamic works, although (as he claimed) they were authored by the dead. Josephson returned to Sweden, where an asylum became his studio for much of the rest of his life.

MARGARETHE HELD
(1894-1981, Germany)

Compelled to draw by the spirit Siwa (God of Indians and Mongols), Held unconsciously, and with great urgency, produced over 300 drawings over a ten year period. This task, which she claimed had been assigned to her from another realm, yielded a pantheon of gnomes, fauns, fairies, water spirits, elves, nature gods, hermaphrodites and demons. It remains one of the 20th century’s most significant galleries of the deceased, the discarnate and the disembodied.

MADGE GILL
(1882-1961, UK)

Legend would suggest that Gill was a medium who did not see herself as an artist. Yet this now-legendary illustrator always intended her work to be appreciated, and participated in numerous exhibitions in London’s East End and beyond. The essence of Gill’s practice lay in the acknowledgement of her spirit guide, Myrinerest, whose presence was channelled through the pale faces, swirling patterns and cryptic dialogue of Gill’s vast and enigmatic oeuvre.

MADAME FAVRE
(c 1850, France)

Madame Favre was the pen-name of a precise (presumed) draughtswoman working in the mid 1800s. The intricate pencil drawings she authored over a two year period were discovered in a spiritualist library in an exercise book entitled simply: The Natural Talent of Mme Favre. The artist’s ethereal figures, with their forlorn features, exotic garb and luxuriant hair-designs, have been the subject of speculation, as this single book is to date the only discovered oeuvre.

FLEURY-JOSEPH CRÉPIN
(1875-1948, France)

Well-digger, plumber and miner, Crépin was a 63-year-old spiritualist when, like his friend and mentor Victor Simon, he initiated an art practice for the purposes of divine healing. Crépin believed that his gridded pointillist architectures were guided by heavenly forces and would collectively foster world peace. They subsequently achieved their goal when the war ended in 1945. Their maker died just three years later, having produced over 350 paintings.

MARIAN SPORE BUSH
(1878-1946, USA)

Despite modest origins, Bush left a career in dentistry to become one of America’s most feted visionary art makers. Her well-appointed marriage to an industrialist led her to exhibit at London and New York’s most celebrated galleries. Her epic monochromatic oils spoke from beyond the veil - as well as to the likes of Harry Houdini and New York Times critic Edward Alden Jewell, who subsequently wrote the introduction to her posthumous novel, They.

Marguerite Burnat-Provins
(1872-1952, Switzerland)

Lifetime aesthete, artist and poet, Burnat-Provins was a professionally artist who experienced a series of intense imaginings in Egypt during an episode of typhoid. From 1914 onwards, she devoted herself to realising these ames parasitaires in a single body of work called Ma Ville. It was comprised of 3,000 drawings of psychic hallucinations, where subjects often dictated not only their colour and form, but their biography (which would appear on the reverse).

OLGA FRÖBE-KAPTEYN
(1881-1962, Switzerland)

Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn was born in London to Dutch engineer and photographer, Albertus Kapteyn, and his wife, the philosophical anarchist Truus Muysken.

In 1900 she moved to Zurich to major in History of Art at the School of Applied Arts, where she married Iwan Fröbe, a Croatian flutist and orchestra conductor. After her husband died in a plane crash, Fröbe-Kapteyn and her father travelled to the Mountain of Truth in the Swiss village of Ascona - an anarchist’s utopia, guided by laws of vegetarianism and nudism. From 1920 onwards, Ascona became her home.

It was here that Fröbe-Kapteyn created an informal centre called Eranos - a title suggested to her by historian of religions, Rudolf Otto. The Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, proposed she use Eranos as a meeting place between East and West, with symposia thematically poised to inspire interdisciplinary conversation.

Artworks by Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn are available for sale through The Gallery of Everything. Please contact the gallery by email here or for a selection of works click here.

For the Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn // Artist Focus please click HERE.

To sign up to The Gallery of Everything ARTIST FOCUS SERIES PLEASE CLICK HERE.

JULIUS BOCKELT 
B  1983 (GERMANY)

Julius Bockelt is an emerging art maker whose diverse and observational practice has evolved at Frankfurt’s leading assisted studio.

Bockelt began his experimental studies into the anatomy of sound in 2002. In these semi-performative events, he created acoustic interference which he then translated into meticulous freehand drawings. For Bockelt, these visual equivalents offered an interface between sound and vision; and addressed the fabric of auditory perception.

As Bockelt’s process evolved, so the artist approached his scientific research with the creative openness of artistic enquiry. It came to include photography and performance, alongside the drawings, sound pieces and musical experiments on paper. In 2011, Bockelt began to document cloud formations over the Frankfurt sky. In an ongoing archive that today contains almost 30,000 images (and the recent subject of an exhibition at Museum Folkwang, Essen), the artist examines the topic of naturally-occurring phenomena. Once again, his focus is an area of investigation available to all. 

Bockelt’s recent experiments with bubble behaviour led to a liquid which features commercial cola as its key ingredient. Bockelt affects the structure and movement of the bubbles in playful experiments that give duration to fleeting phenomena.

Bockelt has been included in exhibitions and collections worldwide, including MUSEUM FOLKWANG (ESSEN), LA MAISON ROUGE (PARIS), and Guangdong Museum of Modern Art (Guangzhou) .

Literature

Phase Shifter, 6 1/2 Wochen, Museum Folkwang 2018

Everyting #7, The Museum of Everything 2018

Von der Unbefreiglichkeit Gottes: Atelier Goldstein in der Marienkirche Aulhausen, Ed. by Soling Caspar and Christiane Cuticchio (Schnell & Steiner) 2016

Art Brut Live, Ed. by Bruno Decharme (ABCD COLLECTION) 2015

Everything #4, The Museum Of Everything 2011

Atelier Goldstein Heft #1 2011

Exhibitions

Phase Shifter, Museum Folkwang (Essen) 2018

Das Beste aus allen Welten, Stadthaus Ulm 2018

EXHIBITION #7, The Museum of Everything (Hobart) 2017/8

„Ballastexistenzen“-?, Paulskirche (Frankfurt) 2017

Von der Unbegreiflichkeit Gottes, Haus am Dom/Zollamtssaal/Dommuseum, (Frankfurt) 2016

Tell it slant, Frith Street Gallery (London) 2016

Julius Bockelt, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (Frankfurt) 2015

Atelier Goldstein at Ständehaus, Ständehaus Kassel 2015

Art Brut, Collection ABCD, La Maison Rouge (Paris) 2014

Womöglich, Atelier Goldstein at Borgo Ensemble (Fürth) 2014

Magic Lines, GAIA Museum (Randers) 2013

Knapp Vermessen, Galerie am Bahndamm (Giessen) 2012

State Opera Hannover 2012

EXHIBITION #4, The Museum of Everything, Selfriges (London) 2011

Goldstein, Guildo und Gäste, Studio Dumont (Cologne) 2009

Narration/Fiktion, Galerie der Villa (Hamburg) 2009

GOLDSTEIN VARIATIONEN, Galerie Station Mousonturm (Frankfurt) 2009

MUSIK!, Mad Musée Liège 2008

Interchange II, Guangdong Museum of Modern Art (Guangzhou) 2008

INTERCHANGE, Römerhalle (Frankfurt) 2006

EZEKIEL MESSOU
b 1971 (Benin)

Born in Benin in 1971, EZEKIEL MESSOU learnt how to repair sewing machines after leaving his home country for Lagos, Nigeria, as a young man. Today, working from the back room of his own sewing machine repair shop in Abomey-Calavi, Benin, MESSOU creates intricate drawings cataloguing hundreds of sewing machine models, which have earned him a place in international collections of alternative art-makers.

Working with pen and pencil on notebooks, MESSOU’s works have evolved from simple, technical drawings into elaborate illustrations characterised by flowing contours and ornate patterns that evoke botanical motifs, in an organic rendition of the machines’ inner workings.

Part diagram, part invention, each picture is completed with a stamp and declaration of authorship: Ets qui sait l'Avenir * Réparation des Machines à Coudre * Le Machinistre (Who Knows the Future * Sewing Machine Repair * The Machinister).

EZEKIEL MESSOU's notebooks are held in important European collections, including the Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne. 

Exhibitions

OF A LIFE/TIME, THE GALLERY OF EVERYTHING
(LONDON) 2019

OLGA FRANTSKEVICH
b 1937 (Vitebsk Region, Belarus)

Born in the former USSR in 1937, OLGA FRANTSKEVICH was a child of war, living under German occupation until the age of seven. Taught by her grandmother how to sew, and lacking in paper to draw, she began to embroider on sackcloth she found at the farm where she worked to support her family and younger siblings.

In her eight decade, FRANTSKEVICH turned again to her family’s legacy of embroidery to capture her memories and the history of the war, exhibiting her works to the public for the first time in 2007.

FRANTSKEVICH’s hand-woven tapestries tell, in brightly coloured and dreamlike tableaus, the story of the War. Personal stories, of her family, of her father, the partisan hero Kuprin Sergey Gavrilovich, of a daily life of suffering punctuated by mundane chores and dreams of a better life. But they also capture, and preserve for future generations, the collective experience of the war.

Today, her work is held in museums in Russia, including the Muzey Balashikhskiy and the Muzey Russkogo Lubka I Naivnogo Iskusstva.

Exhibitions

Subversive Stitch, TJ BOULTING
(LONDON) 2019

OF A LIFE/TIME, THE GALLERY OF EVERYTHING 
(LONDON) 2019

LOUVERTURE POISSON
1914-1984 (Aux Cayes, Haiti)

Louverture Poisson was born in Aux Cayes along the Southern claw of Haiti. He moved to Port-au-Prince in 1942 and trained as an airplane mechanic. In 1945 he joined le Centre d’Art and painted predominantly rural scenes but he was greatly regarded for his melancholy interiors, such as The Young Woman Brushing her Hair and Attente and L’Évadé, which used a more minimal palette and transmitted an air of desolation.

WESNER LAFOREST
1927-1965 (Haiti)

Little is known of Wesner LaForest, yet the handful of paintings discovered in the basement of le Centre d’Art reveal a master of colour with a gifted expressionist style.

FERNAND PIERRE
1919 - 2002 (Port-au-Prince, Haiti)

Fernand Pierre was born in Carrefour, Port-au-Prince and began his artistic life as a wood carver. He joined le Centre d’Art in 1947, where he primarily worked in ceramics before finally training as a painter.

Pierre documented the nineteenth century gingerbread houses through repeated detailed paintings and then began to paint lush, deeply coloured fruit-laden trees. He is one of the five artists who painted the world-renowned murals, depicting The Visitation, of the Episcopal Cathedral of Sainte Trinité in Port-au-Prince in 1951.

His work is included in the permanent collections of the Musée d’Art Haitien du Collège Saint Pierre in Port-au-Prince, the Davenport Museum of Art, Iowa, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut, and the Waterloo Museum of Art in Iowa.

SÉNÈQUE OBIN
1893 - 1977 (Limbé, Haiti)

Sénèque Obin was the second most prolific and significant, after his elder brother Philomé, artist in the Cap-Haitïen school. He was trained by his brother and consequently his style is similar, but using a less defined application of colour. Sénèque Obin is famed for his repeated portraits of the revolutionary generals.

ANTOINE OBIN 
1929 - 1992 (Cap-Haitïen, Haiti)

Antoine Obin is the youngest son of Philomé Obin and was born in Cap-Haitïen. He was trained as a painter by his father and whilst his work is stylistically similar his subject was most often his own family, his childhood memories and their quotidian life. His self-portrait with his grandmother is a particularly moving depiction of familial affection.

ANDRÉ NORMIL 
1934 - 2014 (Port-au-Prince, Haiti)

André Normil was born in Port-au-Prince. He joined le Centre d’Art in 1951. Much of his work depicted Haitian market and fishing scenes which include nuanced details of life, as in Seaside Scene, in which one can find many smaller personal narratives within the larger picture. Normil also painted paradisiacal tropical fantasies including many apsects of Noah’s Arc.

His work is included in the collections of the Musée d’Art Haitien du Collège Saint Pierre in Port-au-Prince, and the Milwaukee Museum of Art.

ADAM LEÓNTUS
1928 – 1986 (Port-au-Prince, Haiti)

Adam Leóntus was born one of nine children in Port-au-Prince and worked as a docker at the port. He augmented his wages by painting Vodou temple walls in poorer areas in the city and these murals brought him to the attention of le Centre d’Art in 1947. In the 1950s Leóntus was commissioned to paint the mural of the Annunciation at the Episcopal Cathedral of Sainte Trinité. Whilst Leóntus had roots in Vodou communities, he preferred depicting scenes of nature and wildlife, especially tropical birds.

His work is included in the permanent collections of the Musée d’Art Haitien du Collège Saint Pierre in Port-au-Prince, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, the Waterloo Museum of Art in Iowa, the UCLA Fowler Museum in Los Angeles, and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

JOSEPH JEAN-LAURENT 
1893-1976 (Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti)

Joseph Jean-Laurent was born in Croix-des-Bouquets, a market town just outside of Port-au-Prince on the main road to the Dominican border. He worked as a tailor in both Port-au-Prince and Grande Rivière du Nord for most of his adult life, only starting painting in 1965 at the age of 72, after retiring back to his childhood town. He joined le Centre d’Art in 1974 but sadly died two years later.

His work is included in the permanent collections of the Hirschorn Museum in Washington D.C., the Milwaukee Museum of Art, and the Waterloo Museum of Art in Iowa.

EDGER JEAN-BAPTISTE
1917 - 1992 (Bainet, Haiti)

Edger Jean-Baptiste was born in Bainet, a small coastal town to the west of Jacmel. Jean-Baptiste was originally trained as a cobbler and tailor, but had also painted scenes on flat rocks from the bay. He was introduced to le Centre d’Art in 1954 by Micius Stephane, an artist from Bainet who had previously joined six years earlier.

Jean-Baptiste was called the ‘Master of Twilight’ due to his fascination with the changing moods and palattes of the local skies, seascapes and shores. He also had a wry sense of the quotidian risks of peasant life, as apparent in in 1970 work The Danger of a Peasant Bringing a Bull to the River.

His work is included in the permanent collections of the Musée d’Art Haitien du Collège Saint Pierre in Port-au-Prince and Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut, and has shown at Ramapo College, New Jersey.

NÉHÉMY JEAN
1931 - 2007 (Limbé, Haiti)

Néhémy Jean was born in Limbé and worked as a graphic artist and studied portraiture. He joined le Centre d'Art in 1947 and was active in the founding of the Foyer des Arts Plastique in 1950 where he was a student of Georges Ramponeau. He left Haiti to further his training in New York, and returned to Haiti to create the L’Atelier Gallery.

Jean had numerous commissions to paint murals at the El Rancho Hotel, the Choucoune Hotel and the Port-au-Prince International Airport. His works have been exhibited in Europe and the United States and are included in many private collections.