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).
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
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.
Not much is known about this Moravian spiritualist, displaying motifs of blooms and inflorescences in the style of Art Brut artists.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Sightless Creole sculptor whose protective scarecrows of pots and pans frightened away the birds with their flapping leather tongues and metal-punctured eyes.
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.
b 1962 (USA)
Contemporary artist, whose photographic memory and numerical literacy are revealed on expansive disasterstrewn paper-napkin tableaux.
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.
(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.
Store clerk, laundry worker and Gullah visual folklorist whose outdoor gallery of local notables and African-American heroes inspired a young Jean-Michel Basquiat.
KWAME AKOTO (ALMIGHTY GOD)
b 1950 (Ghana)
Born in Kumasi, Ghana, Kwame Akoto showed an interest in painting from an early age and displayed obvious talent. His professional career began at fifteen with two local painters who taught him to paint signs and decorate taxis and lorries. He then set up his own workshop in the mid-seventies in one of the most crowded and chaotic parts of the city.
In this same period Akoto embraced religion in the form of Christianity. He joined a Pentecostal sect known as the House of Faith Ministries and became a fervent preacher as well as a renowned healer. It was then that Akoto began to call himself Almighty God, the name with which he now signs all his works.
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.
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.
Retired factory worker whose daily practice of Qigong inspired visions of health and spirituality, ethereal energy drawings which anticipated her own demise.
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|
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|
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
|b 1954 (UK)||12.01.20 - 15.03.20|
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).
|1916-1974 (ITALY)||12.01.20 - 15.03.20|
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-
EVERYTHING #1, The Museum of Everything
Outsider Art, From the Margins to the Marketplace, David Maclagan (Reaktion
Inner worlds outside, Fondacion 'la Caixa', Irish Museum of Modern Art (Whitechapel
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
|1916-1974 (ITALY)||12.01.20 - 15.03.20|
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
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
|1916-1974 (ITALY)||12.01.20 - 15.03.20|
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.
|b 1954 (UK)||12.01.20 - 15.03.20|
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 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.
|DIGITAL INSTALLATION||ARTIST FOCUS|
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.
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.
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.
(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.
(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
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.
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
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.
|DIGITAL INSTALLATION||ARTIST FOCUS|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Af Kilmt 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 Kilnt’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.
NINA KARASEK (JOËLE)
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.
For a selection of available works click HERE.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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
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.
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 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.
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) .
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1930 - 1996 (Port-au-Prince, Haiti)
Jacques-Enguerrand Gourgue was born in Port-au-Prince to a Haitian mother and a French father who was working in Haiti as a psychiatrist.
He joined le Centre d’Art in 1947, at only sixteen years old and having no previous training in painting. Within a year his work The Magic Table was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and remains in their permanent collection. His work appears to be significantly influenced by the Surrealists and often depicted mystical scenes in forests of denuded trees. Gourgue left Haiti in the 1950s to marry, live, and work in Madrid, but regularly returned to Haiti during the 1960s for inspiration.
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 Museum of Modern Art, New York, Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey, and the Waterloo Museum of Art in Iowa.
B 1925 (Haiti)
Wilmino Domand was born in the mountains outside of Jacmel and sustained himself with a small coffee farm. He is a central figure in a talented painting dynasty being a cousin, and pupil, of Castera Bazile whilst having inspired and taught his cousin, Celestin Faustin. Domond’s work reflected his peasant life depicting women at markets and washing in the rivers, and cock-fights, agricultural practices as well as some religious ceremonies.
His work is included in the permanent collections the Davenport Museum of Art, Iowa, and the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut.
1918 - ? (Haiti)
Born to an artistic family, Minium Cayemitte took to art with almost no hesitation. He was one of the first to work at le Centre d’Art, painting feverishly into the night; yet the artist created no more than a dozen works. The work known as Magic tree is perhaps his masterpiece.
1911 - 1986 (Port-au-Prince, Haiti)
Rigaud Benoit was a taxi driver when he first visited le Centre d’Art and was encouraged to start painting by DeWitt Peters after showing him a number of small paintings.
His earlier works were famed for his acute observations of Haitian social mores through his depictions of fractious guests at social events such as wedding ceremonies. Benoit married Hector Hyppolite’s daughter, Herminthe, who supported his practice by taking in washing in their neighbourhood just off the Grand Rue. In 1947 Benoit was one of the artists chosen to create work for the mural project in the Episcopal Cathedral of Sainte Trinité in Port-au-Prince. In the 1970s Benoit shifted his style and focus and his paintings became less realist and more surreal depicting solitary figures, often mutating between human and botanic forms, in fanciful landscapes.
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, and the Waterloo Museum of Art in Iowa.
1922 - 1980 (Cap-Haitïen, Haiti)
Charles Anatole was born in Cap-Haitïen and lived there all his life. He began painting in the 1940s as a pupil of Marcel St. Vil. He continued the tradition of the school of Cap-Haitïen, often depicting historical tableaux such as The Burning of Cap-Haitïen by Christophe, but he also painted small scenes and details of rural life.
ROBERT SAINT BRICE
1893-1977 (Pétionville, Haiti)
An esoteric figure, even by the standards of Haitian myth-making, Robert Saint-Brice was an impoverished Vodou priest - or houngan - who had been painting since his early twenties. On meeting an African-American artist, Alex John, he was introduced to Impressionism and subsequently joined le Centre d’Art in 1949, where his talents were encouraged.
Although artwork prior to this period have never been found, it would not have mattered to Saint-Brice, who considered art simply a physical manifestation of his religious experiences, dreams and inner life. Indeed, his ambiguous relationship to art is reflected in his depiction of Vodou, which seems at times almost abstract, and became an important influence on the artists of the Saint-Soleil movement in the 1970s.
1899-1991 (Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti)
A blacksmith and self-taught sculptor, Georges Liautaud was a successful forger of traditional crosses at the cemetery in Croix-des-Bouquets. Yet it was the personal touches on his work which prompted artist Antonio Joseph and DeWitt Peters to bring him to le Centre d’Art in 1950. Liautaud would go on to become one of the studio’s most innovative alumni, repurposing railway spikes and oil drums in a fertile re-interpretation of the deities and rituals of Haitian life.
Liautaud’s characteristic flourishes, his graphic eyelashes, porkpie hats, and inverted silhouettes, were always accompanied by an inescapable sense of delight in his own perception. Graced with a solo installation at the São Paulo Biennale in 1959, Liautaud’s work went on to enter the collections at the Museum of Modern Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum.
1892-1986 (Bas-Limbé, Haiti)
Philomé Obin is the acknowledged master of the historical Haitian narrative. Often described as the elder statesman of le Centre d’Art, Obin was already a gifted draughtsman at an early age. Yet he drifted professionally, resigning himself to the occasional Masonic commission, until he sent an example of his work to DeWitt Peters. That painting, a detailed depiction of the arrival of Franklin D Roosevelt on the island, paved the way for a forty-year career. During this time, Obin’s distinct figurative style captured the complexity of Haiti’s past, its notorious class system, key historical moments and the vivid social scene - all with a signature fine-tipped precision and one-point perspective.
He was even invited to open an annex of le Centre d’Art in Cap-Haïtien, where under his tutelage, hundreds of local artists were nurtured, including members of his own family.
1923-2012 (Jacmel, Haiti)
Born to a family of shipbuilders, Préfète Duffaut was perhaps the most transcendent of the first wave of Haitian art makers. It was a religious vision which instructed him to dedicate his life to the decoration of houses of worship. Yet his murals were atypical for the region and brought him to the attention of le Centre d’Art. Here, amongst other artists, he continued to explore spiritual and philosophical ideas and became known for his pencil-thin figures, imaginary constructions and off-centre symmetries.
Although best known for his floating landscapes and dream-state depictions of his hometown of Jacmel, it is Duffaut’s off-kilter early material which really shows his lateral abilities to their fullest.
1931-2010 (Port-au-Prince, Haiti)
It was the legendary Hector Hyppolite who first introduced Wilson Bigaud to le Centre d’Art. A former child prodigy, Bigaud had presented himself as a carver and sculptor, but was introduced to two-dimensional formats by DeWitt Peters. Bigaud soon described himself as a memory painter; and his upbringing amidst the rough and tumble of the city had clearly inspired his imaginings.
Social gambling, Vodou ceremonies and local melodramas were ripe subject-matter for his visual investigations, executed with fearless verve and wit. So significant were Bigaud’s abilities, that his monumental mural The Wedding of Cana was considered to be the most dynamic at the Episcopal Cathedral in Port-au-Prince.
Bigaud’s paintings found their inevitable fame. Yet the pressure of success affected their author. Bigaud grew increasingly uncomfortable and took a series of breaks from art making, returning to it only in his later years. He is today considered one of the greats of le Centre d’Art, with works at the Museum of Modern Art, including the legendary Murder in the Jungle (1950).
1923-1966 (Jacmel, Haiti)
As a staff member working for DeWitt Peters, the founder of le Centre d’Art, Castera Bazile was surrounded by art-making. Young, devout and sensitive, he fast developed into one of the major figures of the first generation of so-called popular painters.
Bazile’s early material reflected his strongly-held beliefs, yet it was the metaphorical later works which revealed his nuanced sense of colour and interior drama. These reflections on Haitian identity resonated with perceptive detail and led to an invitation for Bazile to contribute to the murals on the Cathedral of Sainte-Trinité, in Port-au-Prince.
Although he died at a young age, Bazile’s work was celebrated during his lifetime and entered the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. It also forms part of other major collections, including the Milwaukee Museum of Art.
1894-1948 (Saint-Marc, Haiti)
Considered by many as the spiritual father of the Haitian art movement, Hector Hyppolite was a third generation Vodou priest, or houngan, working in isolation until brought to le Centre d’Art by poet and writer Phillipe Thoby-Marcelin. Hyppolite’s masterful visions were inspired by the loas, the gods of Vodou; and he claimed La Sirene, the goddess of the sea, as a life-partner.
Hyppolite’s aesthetic hinted at the influence of other cultures, garnered during a supposed lifetime of travel. At the height of his fame, a new canvas by Hyppolite was celebrated with a parade through the city streets. Yet his practice was cut short, following a heart attack at the age of 54. In three years he had produced between two and three hundred works, of which less than half survive today.
Collected and feted by André Breton, Hyppolite’s work was a major inspiration for the exhibition Le Surréalisme en 1947. La Reine Congo (1946) is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and is currently on display. His work is held in major private and public collections worldwide and he is considered one of the most important black artists of the mid-20th century.
ABU BAKARR MANSARAY
b 1970 (Sierra Leone)
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.
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'environnement, exhibition catalogue, Fondation Alliances, Musée MACAAL, Brahim Alaoui (Ed.), p. 159 2017
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
b 1985 (USA)
Raised in Chicago by an Italian-American family, LOUIS DEMARCO has been expressing himself through art since his early 20s. His is a precise and philosophical practice, nurtured through the support of his local studio into a fundamental body of material. This in turn has garnered him hometown acclaim, national profile and cult status.
DEMARCO uses image-making to trace the highways of the brain. His voice, at once particular and channeled, is a means by which to process and communicate. Pithy warnings, soft guidelines, home truths and lyrics to live by, are quoted, abbreviated, distorted and repeated. They drift through cloudforms like infomercials from the divine.
Comedian and analyst, provocateur and poet, the author is ever present. His artworks evidence a lifelong investigation into the thought-processes of consciousness. Beware their apparent simplicity. These tiny epics disarm with dignity, wit and revelation for all.
LOUIS DEMARCO has been featured in numerous shows across the US and has been commissioned for a number of important public art installations. He has been exhibited internationally, notably by The Museum of Everything in London and Tasmania. This is his first major presentation in the UK and is exclusive to The Gallery of Everything.
LES BARBUS MÜLLER
dates unknown (France)
Named after the eponyumous Swiss collector Josef Müller, Les Barbus Müller refer to a group of volcanic stone carvings owned by Jean Dubuffet, André Breton and Tristan Tzara. These anonymous bearded figures inaugurated le Foyer de l'Art Brut and were considered to be among its most important finds. It is generally considered that there were several authors of these neo-pagan works which likely had some original ritual use.
The swirling dreamscapes of this elusive painter were first discovered in a Parisian gallery by art critic Michel Tapié. Hernández was a peasant-born anarchist from Spain, whose formative years in Brazil had helped fashion his radical socialist stance. After a lifetime of frontline activism, Hernández retired to Paris and dedicated himself to painting the memories of his youth and the beloved wife he had lost during their wartime struggles.
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.
Discovered by André Breton, Crépin was a 63-year-old Spiritualist who, like his mentor Victor Simon, had initiated an art practice for the purposes of divine healing. This former plumber claimed that his gridded pointillist architectures were guided by heavenly forces and would collectively foster world peace. They achieved their goal when the war ended in 1945. Their maker died three years later, having produced over 350 paintings.
The sensual drawings, paintings and murals of the ubiquitous Corbaz were brought to Jean Dubuffet’s attention by Jacqueline Porret-Forel, a young doctor at a Swiss psychiatric clinic. The oeuvre speaks of a mysterious and seemingly autobiographical love-affair, often in the form of books or folded sheets, and features unusual materials such as petals and packaging, delicately sewn into the artwork to create a unique form of collage.
Chaissac was a farmer, handyman and artist who spent much of his life in rural France. His writing attracted the attention of Jean Paulhan and Raymond Queneau and he went on to produce a substantial body of visual material, including drawings, paintings and sculptures. Chaissac saw himself as a modern folk artist and this led to a gradual rift with Dubuffet, who considered the work too informed simply to be defined as Art Brut.
|GEORGE E OHR||FOLDED FORMS OF GEORGE E OHR, NOMAD ST MORITZ|
|1857-1918 (USA)||06.02.20 - 09.02.20|
In the late 1800s, self-taught potter GEORGE E OHR revolutionised pottery.
From his home in coastal Mississippi, this eldest son of Alsatian immigrants developed an all-consuming practice and persona. OHR’s clay pots were precise and prolific. Their radical shapes and modern glazes marked an important shift in three-dimensional vessel making. As a body of work, they challenged not only the art establishment, but the cultural conventions of their day.
Yet OHR’s proto-abstract experiments proved too unpalatable for local taste. Throughout his lifetime, the entrepreneurial Mad Potter of Biloxi was ignored and his legacy unrecorded in the history of American art.
That changed seventy years later when the oeuvre was rediscovered by his descendants. Heralded as an unsung pioneer of modernist making, OHR was soon being collected and championed by David Whitney, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. The latter was so enamored of the delicacy of OHR’s material form, he repeatedly depicted the work in his paintings.
Posthumously embraced by his peers, OHR and his pots now found their place in the Western canon. They reached a wide audience through the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Museum. Frank Gehry designed a museum in OHR’s hometown of Biloxi in Mississippi. More recently, over thirty works were exhibited as part of a contemporary installation at the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh in 2013.
Known for his provocative durational performances, British-born artist BOB PARKS is on a lifetime search for the truth. Ancient cultures, military dictatorships, method acting, gospel music and his own late mother form the heart of his all-encompassing gesamtkunstwerk. Yet it was last yearʼs acclaimed BBC documentary, The R&B Feeling, which propelled the 70 year old wunderkind into the limelight.
Born in Southhall, BOB PARKS studied art at Leicester University before moving to Los Angeles in the 1970s. His immersion in West Coast performance art brought him to the attention of contemporaries like Chris Burden and Paul McCarthy; but it was his study of Konstantin Stanislavski at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and Actor’s Studio which led him to fuse his daily life with a radical and pseudo-fictional version of himself.
In 1974 PARKS embarked on a series of citywide actions in the persona of an absurdist alter-ego, Bignose. Inspired by Indian mystic philosophy, the character alternated mundane rituals with verbal hysterias, while dressed in a yogic thong and playing an amplified fife. The performance was called: The hypocrisy of clothed men, painting naked women in Renaissance times, behind closed doors. It brought him to the attention of the infamous Chuck Barris, who invited him to perform on The Gong Show.
Holding down a series of menial jobs, PARKS became involved with South Centralʼs Starlight Church of God in Christ, where the African-American community introduced him to gospel and soul music, inspiring him to produce a series of portraits which revealed PARKS as a profound painter and image maker.
Shows in Australia, Europe and the UK were to follow. Yet at the age of 40, PARKS left Los Angeles (pop. 18 million) and returned to his parents’ home in Sway (pop. 3,448). He joined a local congregation, where his spiritual and creative practices became ever more interconnected.
In recent years, PARKS was included in 3rd Leggg at London’s ICA in 2011, and presented in a solo show at Grand Union in Birmingham in 2013. In 2016, BOB PARKS’ life and work was profiled in The R&B Feeling, co-directed by contemporary artist Nathaniel Mellors.
The Gallery of Everything is proud to present BOB PARKS’ first major UK retrospective, with paintings, drawings, sculpture and screenings which draw on his astonishing 40 year practice. The artist will be present throughout, giving performances every Sunday afternoon in the gallery.
Living on the outskirts of Paris, FRANCIS MARSHALL’s mysterious practice is inextricably intertwined with his unconventional life. Working over forty-years to create a society of more than four-hundred figurative sculptures, his oeuvre exists in a world of its own.
MARSHALL’s stuffed objects and figures are made from pieces of wood, rags, old nylons, discarded bicycles, radios, cupboards and debris found on the banks of the River Seine. His is the material of the discarded, a world of apparent darkness, filled with dystopian humour. His population are assembled in familiar quotidian scenes, they collapse into splintered furniture, they arrange themselves around kitchen tables. Yet in this world of dilapidation, there is levity and charm, it captivates and lures us into spending time in the company of this strangely comforting country cast.
Faces smile up from slumped bodies and peek through cupboard doors, an obedient dog waits for his grinning master and old shoes sit in neat lines as bundles of discarded clothes tumble from mouldy shelving. A tree of poetic musings points to nowhere, as a haggard girl makes off on a bright pink bicycle.
Championed by Alain Bourbonnais, the legendary founder of La Fabuloserie, MARSHALL’s work was first made public in 1973 at Atelier Jacob in Paris. Since then he has been exhibited at the Musee d’Art Modern (France), The American Visionary Art Museum (USA) and at Hayward Gallery in the seminal Outsiders exhibition in 1979.
MARSHALL’s works are included in collections internationally as well as in The Museum of Everything.
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).
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The makeshift open-air studio of Ion Bârlādeanu was discovered in a back-alley in Bucharest, Romania. Yet its proprietor, a modest and clandestine collagist, was unprepared for the acclaim which swiftly descended upon his once-secret art practice.
As social commentary, Bârlādeanu’s anti-communist and anti-capitalist assemblages reveal a wry sense of humour and sharp political savvy. The brilliance lies in their maker’s visual flair, where impossible eye-lines and one-point perspectives coincide effortlessly with the high-gloss, the pornographic and the surreal.
Born in 1946 near the Moldavian border, Bârlādeanu spent much of his adulthood drifting. He worked as a farmer, a docker, a security guard and a grave-digger. Yet it was the violent reign of Nicolae Ceausescu, and its subsequent collapse in 1989, which indirectly inspired Bârlādeanu to create such a subversive and satirical body of work.
Bârlādeanu sees himself not as an artist, but as a maverick film director. In these, his CinemaScope movies, he both commands and controls. World-class actors and Romanian big-wigs collide, sexy ingenues divert the male gaze, Nazis lurk everywhere, cigarettes are currency, and disputes are settled with a sausage, a bottle or a gun.
Today Bârlādeanu’s work is in notable museum and private collections. He is regularly included in international exhibitions, such as the 2015 Vienna Biennale, The Museum of Everything at Kunsthal Rotterdam in 2016 and Mona (Australia) in 2017/18, and Halle Saint Pierre (Paris) in 2018. He has been profiled in The Guardian and Le Monde.
Artistul la Treizeci de ani, Dan Popescu, Alexandru Davidian (Arcub, Bucharest) 2016
...de porc, Erwin Kessler (Bucharest, Cluj) 2010
RealPolitik, Dan Popescu (H'art Gallery) 2007
The intimate testimonies of HARALD STOFFERS reveal the graphic inner life of a non-stop conceptual art-maker. Addressed to the mother with whom he still shares his primary relationship, these edgy abstracted texts adapt the conventions of letter-writing into a lifelong practice of tiny paper shavings and vast confessional scrolls.
There exists in HARALD STOFFERS' work, an intellectual and emotional interchange. It combines strict formal parameters with fluid aesthetic decisions. Through repetition and permutation, the artworks long to perfect a system which addresses the artist’s needs to specific correspondents. However the letters themselves are never sent.
STOFFERS provokes viewers into thinking about language in a different way. To see his works, without reading or understanding their meaning, is a poetic and hypnotic act. Yet their form reflects, and is in fact derived specifically from, their content. In observing how the artist often cuts and pastes key passages, or affords space to particular sentences, or crams phrases together until they form clouds of dense inky mass, the disruption of what we expect to understand is constant and disassociating. Only the question is clear: with whom is STOFFERS is seeking to communicate?
HARALD STOFFERS has major works included in a number of collections, including The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry (US), ABCD Collection (FR) and The Museum of Everything (UK).
Back In Town, Peter Heidenwag & Corinna Koch (Textem Verlag) 2014
Le Mur, Antoine de Galbert (Fage) 2014
Everything #4, The Museum of Everything (Everything) 2011
Mehr Als Zu Viel, Peter Heidenwag & Corinna Koch (Textem Verlag) 2011
Harald Stoffers: Letters, Peter Heidenwag (Textem Verlag) 2011
Reflexion Von Sprache Bei Harald Stoffers, Peter Heidenwag (Textem Verlag) 2011
Everything #1, The Museum of Everything (Electa/Mondadori) 2010
EXHIBITION #7, The Museum of Everything (Tasmania) 2017/8
Art and Alphabet, Hamburger Kunsthalle (Hamburg) 2017
Mixed Company, Freitagssalon (Hamburg) 2015
Art Brut Live, Dox Centre for Contemporary Art (Prague) 2015
Le Mur, La Maison Rouge (Paris) 2014
Back In Town, Kunsthaus Jesteburg (Hamburg) 2014
Deep In The Countryside, Kunsthaus Jesteburg (Hamburg) 2013
The figurative oeuvre of NIGEL KINGSBURY employs apparently simple mark-making to create an ethereal and effortless community. These female forms are based on the women who were close to the artist, those who cared for him and those for whom he cared, effortlessly transformed by pencil and time into mighty gestures of love.
KINGSBURY’s practice was meticulous. The artist initially worked in colour, using TV stills of iconic personalities, contained in a small-scale format. Only later did he shift to the women who surrounded him in daily life. At this point his use of line became more fluid. He juxtaposed loose gestures with short stabs of the pencil. Eraser marks started to reveal sections of drawings as portraits were worked and reworked.
As the scale increased, so the artist afforded himself greater freedom and sensitivity. A compositional balance took shape, with figures morphing into abstraction, and the marks of a dress or the strands of a figure’s hair becoming complex and entangled landscapes in and of themselves. Ironically, as they evolved, his small-scale work refined and intensified, with faces becoming subtle to the point of near-transparency.
Although KINGSBURY’s work has been exhibited in Britain, most notably at Studio Voltaire in London, his work is rarely available for sale. It is included in a number of collections, including Pallant House (Sussex) and The Museum of Everything.
Everything #2, The Museum of Everything (Everything) 2010
Jerwood Drawing Prize, Tour (Cheltenham, Canterbury & Falmouth) 2016
Jerwood Drawing Prize, Jerwood Space
Pen & Art, Pen Station Museum (Tokyo) 2013
The Inner Self: Drawings from the Subconscious, CGP (London) 2014
Side by Side, Southbank Centre (London) 2013
Outside In, Pallant House Gallery (Sussex) 2012/13
Everything #2, The Museum of Everything