Of unique historic value, the Collection de lArt Brut
holdings comprise over 60,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, fabric works and writings, To showcase such an invaluable treasure trove, the museum's new director, Ms. Sarah Lombardi, proposes to mount a series of exhibitions devoted exclusively to pieces belonging to this Lausanne institution. As their nameThe Art Brut Biennialsindicates, these shows are to take place every two years: each will display, under the banner of a shared thematic slant, works never before shown and works already exhibited.
The present show, the first of the new series, addresses means of transport. It brings together over 200 pieces by forty-two authors, disclosing at once the latter's distinctive production modes, together with a diversity of techniques, materials, dimensions and/or formal languages. The bilingual (French/English) publication accompanying this exhibition represents the first of a new series entitled Art Brut, la Collection, published jointly with 5 Continents Editions of Milan, Italy. Destined for release internationally, this major publication treats readers to a virtual tour of the museum collections.
Vehicles of the most rudimentary kind or of a more technical nature, and whether intended for travel by air, land or water, have always fascinated mankind. Incorporating a link with the childhood world with which Art Brut creators tend to remain attached, vehicles also embody an idea of power, both physically and sexually, as if to prolong human aptitudes.
Some Art Brut creators take vehicles as their only subject, so that their entire production involves variations of a single motif. Such creators constitute lists, series or repertories where each plane, car or train is depicted in a most orderly and precise fashion, as in the work of Motooka Hidenori, David Braillon and Gregory Blackstock. These creators feel the need to classify objects in a strict and obsessive manner that reveals their basic need to organize or even take possession of the world.
Others are attracted by the larger world of transport in general, a theme inextricably linked to the idea of travel and trips; as such, it can be synonymous with discovery and experienceas in the work of Willem Van Genkbut also with danger. Thus, the pieces by Loma Hylton and Shi Yi Feng allude to the threatening side of vehicles, the disturbing chaos generated by a multitude of moving engines.
Creators André Robillard and Eric Zablatnik show a preference for futuristic constructions, flying machines and engines featuring propellers or motors. Driven by their dreams, these utopians became transformed into avant-gardist mechanics enthused by motion and bearings systems, in the manner of Fausto Badari, Serge Delaunay and Emile Ratier.
The act of creating enables many of those in the field of Art Brut, and especially those who are immobilized, to escape their personal condition and to thus take their existence, as difficult as it may be, into their own hands. For Clément Fraisse, Auguste Forestier and Sylvain Lecocq, the topic of vehicles symbolizes above all their need for liberty.
May you experience this trip through the museum collections as a change of scene ("le dépaysement" as Jean Dubuffet termed it) from theat timesoverly habitual cultural art fields.