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New Online Exhibition at the Mitchell Gallery – Photo | Brut: Collection Bruno Decharme

March 4 - April 22

Annapolis, MD, March 2, 2022. This exhibition is a selection of more than 16 “art brut” artists who represent a movement founded by French artist Jean Dubuffet at the end of World War II. This collection of art brut photographers is comprised of prints, photomontages, and photocollages made by creators outside the art world and conventional art circuits, who have no academic training, and live in a mental institution, prison, or in solitude and marginality. Dubuffet advocated for “instinct, passion, mood, violence, madness” rather than analysis and reason and traditional ideas of beauty. These values were embodied in what Dubuffet termed art brut, or “raw art”. Many of the artists are visionaries, mystics, or geniuses who go to extraordinary means to produce, ignoring aesthetic codes and categories.

Self-portraits by Marcel Bascoulard and Lee Godie are seen, while Miroslav Tichy records the world around him. Others, like Karel Forman, find magazines and magazine photographs as a basis for their imagination—they cut out, digest, assimilate, and appropriate these journalistic or advertising images for their own creations. John Hogancamp, best known for his fictional Belgian town Marwencol, creates a narrative photographed in his backyard with “Barbie” dolls and action figures. Their resourcefulness often has no bounds. The variances and imperfections add an emotional quality, because these artists are not concerned about creating something “good” in the traditional definition, but more about articulating their vision.

Exhibition related events include a livestreamed panel discussion, “Pictures at the Edge,” on March 8 at 5:30 p.m., with American Visionary Art Museum Director Rebecca A. Hoffberger, Tutor emeritus and curator John Verdi, cultural historian Jennifer Donnelly, and Interim Director Lucinda Edinberg. A book club and other events may be found on the website.

For more information, contact Lucinda Edinberg at [email protected] or call 410-626-2556.

This exhibition, on loan from Bruno Decharme, is on view through April 22, 2022.

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