About the exhibition
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For the first time, Jean-Hubert Martin (former director of the Centre Pompidou Paris) proposes an exhibition, shown both online and offline. The exhibition began in Paris-based galleries, Jean Brolly and Christian Berst Art Brut, and is now presented on Collectionair.

The aim of the exhibition is to establish a fruitful dialogue between Art Brut (also known as « outsider art ») and contemporary artists. It is accompanied by a 200-page catalogue, with a text by Jean-Hubert Martin and foreword from Jean Brolly and Christian Berst.

Art Brut has recently entered a new era: whereas it used to be a movement acclaimed by a minority of connoisseurs, who were as rare as they were exclusive. It is now often associated with a more predictable kind of art production.

However, the challenges that run alongside including Art Brut in the canonical history of art go well beyond the issues of display and contextualization.

The “usual” dialectic ceases to align with these pieces, which are not connected to any explicit art historical reference. In opposition to this, they force us to rethink this history, which can therefore not be apprehended like a continuum, but rather like a complex rhizomatic structure.

This is a network where history, cultures, origins and forms do not act according to a quasi Darwinist and western centred linearity, but one that forces us to reconsider art as a human act, both substantive and metaphysical. The kind of acts where the magic and the mysterious transcend the old artistic segments, and disrupt both the comfortable bipolarities and the fallacious quest for beauty.

The question then arises: how can we understand and penetrate these academically unthinkable works, created outside of art historical conventions?

Comparing is not always reasonable, it can be illogical, even where comparing works with conformity of production offers the most exciting outcomes. This is the path that Jean-Hubert Martin has chosen, from Magiciens de la Terre, in 1989, to Carambolages today, constantly on the watch for a collision and juxtaposition of themes or shapes that could come out of a forgotten logic. In the exhibition Sur le Fil, the viewer is invited to adopt his part in this responsibility by thinking with his eyes. 

Artists presented include Didier Amblard, Bernard Aubertin, Denise Aubertin, Beverly Baker, Franco Bellucci, Ben, Eric Benetto, Thérèse Bonnelalbay, Marina Bourdoncle, Frédéric Bruly-Bouabré, Misleidys Castillo Pedroso, Rosa Cazhur, Nicolas Chardon, Alan Charlton, Mathieu Cherkit, Jean Claus, Vincent Corpet, Krijn de Koning, John Devlin, Janko Domsic, Eugène Dodeigne, José Manuel Egea, Sebastián Ferrera, Filip Francis, Alexandro Garcia, Paul Armand Gette, Fengyi Guo, Thomas Hirschhorn, Josef Hofer, Xie Hong, Rémy Hysbergue, Myung Ok-Han, Peter Kapeller, John Urho Kemp, Adama Kouyaté, Eugène Leroy, Pierre Molinier, Albert Moser, Michel Nedjar, Marilena Pelosi, Raphaëlle Ricol, Royal Robertson, Patricia Salen, David Scher, Daniel Schlier, Milton Schwartz, Judith Scott, José Johann Seinen, Henry Speller, Harald Stoffers, Benjamin Swaim, Ionel Talpazan, Miroslav Tichý, David Tremlett, Bernard Voïta, August Walla, We are the Painters (Nicolas Beaumelle & Aurélien Porte), Scottie Wilson, Adolf Wölfli, Carlo Zinelli, Zorro.

About the curator

Jean-Hubert Martin, a graduate in art history, was director of the Kunsthalle Bern, the National Modern Art Museum of the Pompidou Center, the National Museum of African and Oceanic Arts in Paris and the Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf. He led the artistic programs of the Castle of Oiron and the Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea in Milan. His interest in non-Western cultures led him to design an open-plan exhibition by confronting works of heterogeneity and hence promote a renewed look (World Theater, MONA, Hobart and Maison Rouge, Paris, 2012-13 and Carambolages, Grand Palais, Paris, 2016). He has curated numerous biennials and major exhibitions: Paris - Berlin (1978), Paris - Moscow (1979), Magiciens de la Terre (1989), Une image peut en cacher une autre (2009), Salvador Dali (2012), L'etrange cité d'lya and Emilia Kabakov (2014).