The concept of “Art Brut” was established in 1945 by French artist Jean Dubuffet and, from that moment on, between “wars and guerrilla warfare”, the definition of this artistic movement has evolved or dispersed, and each author has their own.
British national Roger Cardinal dubbed it “Outsider Art”, but this Anglo-Saxon phrase encompasses all marginal or spontaneous art movements, such as “Popular Art”, “Naïve Art”, “Singular Art”, “New Invention”, “Spiritualist Art” and, of course, “Art Brut”.
We adopted Jean Dubuffet’s idea with slight modifications, such as those by gallerist and lecturer Christian Berst, with “Art Brut” and “Spiritualist Art” being part of the same group.
We disagree that “Art Brut” authors are cultural virgins; everyone, however secluded they may be, has seen a magazine, an advertisement, a book cover and, without a doubt, has been influenced by the world around them.
And, to prove that, one of Jean Dubuffet’s discoveries was Swiss “artist” Héloïse Corbaz, a teacher at the court of Emperor Wilhelm II, one of the most famous “Brut” artists.
Other artists who float in between are represented in collections or exhibitions, according to the concept of the curators or the collectors.
“Art Brut”, the last artistic discovery of the 21st century, is the fad of biennials, museums and international art fairs, but it is yet to become popular in our country.
Portuguese “Art Brut” authors still live in “terra incognita”, apart from Jaime Fernandes, and for that reason we have decided to assemble about twenty “Brut” artists from the Portuguese-speaking world, bringing Portugal, Brazil and Angola together, and introducing them collectively for the first time.
The starting point will be Jaime Fernandes (1900-1969), the Portuguese artist from Covilhã who was committed to Miguel Bombarda Hospital, where he created his work, which is part of all international “Art Brut” collections.
Unfortunately, few pieces by this artist are left in Portugal, some in the Gulbenkian Foundation collections, others in our own collection, and some pieces still in in the hands of private collectors.
We will also introduce works by Portuguese artists Manuel Bonifácio, who lives in London, siblings Manuel and Ana Carrondo, Jaime Fernandes, Daniel Gonçalves, Ti Guilhermina, Rui lourenço, Carlos Victor Martins, Artur Moreira, José Ribeiro, Serafim Barbosa, Brazilian artists Albino Braz, Jesuys Crystiano, Evaristo Rodrigues, Marilena Pelosi, Camilo Raimundo and José Teófilo Resende, alongside precious drawings by unknown Angolan artists. It is the third time that the Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva Foundation has the audacity to host exhibitions from Centro de Arte Oliva, Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection, the only museum dedicated to this artistic field in the Iberian Peninsula.
António Saint Silvestre
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