BETŰMÉRET

The cult of peculiar paintings and drawings created in psychiatric hospitals has been growing for 150 years. The connection between genius and insanity has been suggested since the be- ginning of times in religious cults, cults of saints and shamanism. According to Cesare Lombroso increased creativity in an extreme case is a near insane state of mind, while genius ends up in melancholy and madness.

From the 1940, Jean Dubuffet formed his own art by identifying himself with the artists living on the margins of society. He started collecting the works of naive artists, psychotic patients, bums and prison inmates. In 1949 he defined the essence of the school — what is rather an approach and artistic viewpoint — in the brochure of the exhibition of 200 art brut paintings in the René Drouin Gallery. The quotation below from the “The advantages of art brut against cultural art” reflects well the conformity of the postwar, neo-avantgard aspirations with the manifestation of a permanent phenomena, an attitude of the creator, that go beyond the actual trends.

“For us this art form is obvious with the art of individuals that are free from all artistic cultures, for whom the inclination to copy — in comparison to the intellectual persons’ processes — is not significant at all, therefore, these artists draw everything (subject, choice of material, methods of transcriptions, rhythm, style of writing) from themselves, not from the classical or trendy art stereotypes. In these artists we witness the clear, raw artistic methods, that the creator discovered as a whole on each level of his development driven only by his own inspiration. Thus, we can talk about an art, in which only creativity is in the foreground instead of the symptoms of cultural art that are chameleon like transformations and copy cat mannerisms.”