The organization behind the Art Brut Biennale foundation does not receive any remuneration for their work. For the execution of the various activities, the foundation has a team of approximately seventy volunteers with a wide range of skills at its disposal.
What is Art Brut? Art Brut is a type of fine art that is difficult to define or classify under a common denominator or label, for there is hardly any kinship with any existing art form. That has everything to do with the makers, who don’t (want to) have anything to do with the culturally conditioned intellectual debate within the art world. It is created by artists who express what is within them without concern for existing ideas or theories about fine art. They don’t ask for attention or appreciation, but their work surely deserves it.
The name Art Brut (literally: raw art) was invented by the French artist Jean Dubuffet. Being dissatisfied with the fine arts culture around the time of the Second World War, Jean Dubuffet visited psychiatric clinics in search of work that expressed the raw identity of the artist. In 1946, together with Andre Breton – a leading artist in the surrealist movement – he founded a society called Société de l’Art Brut in Paris.
Meanwhile, we also include the work of mentally challenged people in the Art Brut field. Their work is first and foremost primary expression. Sometimes a cry for help, other times the only way possible to make contact with the outside world. Not planned, but spontaneous, vital and disturbing, and very often sparkling and colorful. The Art Brut Biennale foundation focusses on the work of these artists who allow us a glimpse into the very depths of the human soul.
The first Art Brut Biennale was organized in 2012. The second and third editions took place in 2015 and 2018. The fourth edition was held in 2022.
Art Brut Biennale foundation Mission Statement
The main goal of the Art Brut Biennale foundation is to offer a professional platform to Art Brut art, and thus to allow the artist with mental or psychological challenges the recognition, appreciation and the credit they deserve. Furthermore we aim to facilitate and stimulate the artistic development of these artists by creating opportunities to work together with like-minded artists, both during and after the Biennale.
In addition, the Art Brut Biennale foundation wants to play a connecting role in new partnerships between participating health care- and artistic organizations in order to ensure that this type of artistic expression will receive the continued attention that it deserves.
Moreover, we want to share knowledge and understanding of this art form with the widest possible public and play a role in its promotion wherever we can.
Art Brut Biennale future (long-term)
It is our ambition to organize a top quality event highlighting all aspects of Art Brut every two years. This ambition is inspired by now iconic internationally renowned exhibitions such as the Documenta in Kassel (Germany) and the Manifesta (also biannual, each time in a different European city). These exhibitions reflect the current state of affairs in the world of art, as well as a reference to its history; they have a great appeal to art enthusiasts as well as artists and other professionals in the field; they offer a platform for discourse and inspiration and provide an insight into future developments in the arts world. Admittedly, this ambition is still a dream image, but the above-mentioned exhibitions also started out small in the past. The Art Brut Biennale is like a rock falling into the water, producing ever-expanding circles. This metaphor represents a growth model that will allow us to increase the quality of the exhibition as well as our reach to attract more artists as well as more publicity. All in order to provide Art Brut with a permanent position in the (art)world.
International recognition and connection
This year the organization joined the European Outsider Art Association (EOAA) and thereby gained access to the international art world. This membership is a huge recognition for what we have achieved so far and will facilitate the acquisition of works on loan from museums, galleries and private collections as well as from individual artists and art studios.
The Art Brut Biennale foundation has formulated seven key objectives:
- To offer artistic support to the individual Art Brut artist
- To bring Art Brut art to the attention of a broad audience as a professional art form
- To offer a platform and meeting place on a regional, euregional, national and international scale
- To involve the artists in the organisation as well as the execution of the Art Brut Biennale project (e.g. participating in our Thinktank)
- To promote regional, euregional, national and international cooperation between art galleries, art studios, museums and art institutions
- To expand the network of art studios regionally as well as on a national scale
- To set up an Art Brut Centre for the education of young artists.
Target groups Art Brut Biennale
Each of the above-mentioned key objectives is aimed at the following target groups:
- Participants of the Art Brut Biennale, such as individual artists and art galleries, theatre companies, musicians, poets/writers, artist lobbies and museums
- Visitors, both from the Netherlands and from abroad (family, friends, acquaintances, art lovers, collectors)
- Art studios and their staff and clients
- Schools (primary and secondary) and their students.
The Art Brut Biennale exhibition is accessible to the public free of charge. Moreover, the board members offer their time and expertise without remuneration.
The many healthcare organizations we work with provide an important financial contribution to the Biennale. Other funding comes from regional, euregional, national and international funds and authorities. Furthermore we actively approach local institutions and businesses, encouraging them to contribute to a balanced budget.