b 1961 (Afghanistan)
Afghani emigre and former caretaker, whose chance encounter with Iranian self-taught master, Hasan Hazer Moshar, inspired a mythical menagerie made simply of egg boxes and library glue.
THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING // KUNSTHAL ROTTERDAM
from 5th March to 22nd May 2016
b 1961 (Afghanistan)
b 1951 (Hargicourt, France)
Intensely private and hermetic maker whose miniature architectures revitalise the components of forgotten machineries into a potential and aesthetic future.
1937-2010 (Cologne, Germany)
Art and machine orientated labourer, whose multiple thousand Polaroid practice documented and described the invisible cold rays emanating from every electrical outlet around him.
b 1962 (London, Britain)
The open-ended architectures of this pencil-sharpened imaginary planner suggest a secure and homespun lifestyle which his current incarcerated enclosure is unlikely ever to allow.
b 1965 (Nancy, France)
Behold the flowing incendiary monochromes of this carpenter, cabinet-maker, painter and poet, where each page consumes architecture and foliage with flame, an improbable homage to his hospital home.
Graphic Mississippi fabric calendar attributed to African-American quilter Della Pedyfoot, which resonates with echoes of a complex personal history, although its purpose remains as unknown as its maker.
Eerie group of rubbery bearded faces, idolised by Jean Dubuffet, whose anonymous origins recall forgotten pagan gods, yet are named after their wealthy Swiss owner.
c 1800 (France)
Impish episodes of mischievous diabolerie are contained in this anonymous assembly of delicate watercolours, allegedly penned by the talented inmate of an early 19th century French hospital.
c 1600 (Augsburg, Germany)
Apocryphal episodes and pseudo-scientific revelations complete this multiple-authored sixteenth century volume, where illuminations pre-date abstraction with their divine wonder.
c 1850 (Chicago, USA)
Astonishing multi-functioning 19th century kinetic contraption made apparently by a cabinet maker for inventor Cyrus McCormick and subsequently feted by the likes of Robert Bishop, Georgia o’ Keefe and Ray and Charles Eames.
1909-1992 (Boston, USA)
Amateur sculptor and published photographer who illustrated, fashioned and immortalised his strange family of secret pre-teen mannequins.
1865-1931 (Jericho, USA)
Entrepreneurial Vermont farmer and micro-pioneer, whose five-thousand strong army of eternalised snow crystals did not protect him from the untimely snowstorm which eventually froze him away.
1899-1960 (Kafargzina, Syria)
Solitary Armenian handyman whose sincere fears for humanity birthed an aesthetic oeuvre of universal consciousness, interplanetary travel, post-Masonic symbolism and scientific faction.
The satirical pictagram cut-outs of this once street-bound collagist depict the horrors of Nicolae Ceaușescu via 70’s Hollywood A-listers, sexy Milanese ingénues, bottles of booze and giant Romanian sausages.
1903-1972 // 1915-1982 (Tennessee // Georgia, USA)
Childless husband and wife creators whose Mojave Desert re-cyclorama in Possum Trot was a happy home to hundreds of carved and wind-powered figurines.
1907-1986 (Stapleton, USA)
Eastern European immigrant whose inherited farmhouse housed a giant Healing Machine of wirework mobiles, channelling the earth’s energy to grant immortality.
1916-1975 (Palermo, Italy)
The shadowy metamorphic subtexts of this elemental autodidact are only to be discovered deep within the verdant orifices of an all-consuming, plant-populated, flesh-eating jungle.
b 1940 (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
A former French teacher, this immaculate and rational draughtsman suffers from a profound inability to define the source of his epic and imaginary cityscape.
b 1939 (Veliševac, Serbia)
Vivid paintings and annotated IBM keyboards in plastic bags reveal the hallucinations of this former soldier, beautician and elusive street artist.
1900–1977 (Garden Valley, USA)
Unable to read, write, hear or sign, this master draughtsman’s silent mirror reflects an inner life of drawings and constructions of soot, spit and string.
1924-2015 (Barian Kalan, India)
Post-Partition roads inspector for Le Corbusier, who recycled the remains of local villages into a vernacular kingdom to confront the modernism of Chandigarh.
b 1960 (Baghagha, Senegal)
Utopian urban sprawls rise proudly from the tidy grids and benevolent architectures of this one-time baker, security guard and village-born humanitarian dreamer.
b 1981 (New York, USA)
The hirsute bible-bashing of this gifted pencil-sharpener manifests the African-American beard as a symbol of divine righteousness and speaks a universal prayer for all black male consciousness.
c 1950 (Perth, Australia)
Seemingly random dates document the fifty-year practice of this freeform visual diarist, yet they belie the complexity of a pictorial life-catalogue, whose code is known only to its gentle silent maker.
c 1891-1960 (Havana, Cuba)
Former tobacco roller whose satirical opus of collaged cigar-band surfaces, furniture and instruments was found by chance in a Philadelphia car-boot sale.
b 1956 (Melbourne, Australia)
Visual impairment has barely dented the twenty year practice of this world-class artist, whose paintings and ceramic cameras reflect that distant world of sight.
1886-1964 (Lausanne, Switzerland)
Swiss Governess whose imagined affair with Kaiser Wilhelm II sparked a sensual and allegedly schizophrenic oeuvre of poetic drawings, collages and murals.
1914-1992 (Caltagirone, Italy)
Self-assured self-educated wanderluster, whose lucid dreams inspired a homeland return and an unstoppable al fresco opera of puppets, statues, historical plaques and giant root figures.
1892-1973 (Chicago, USA)
Devout hermit and legendary illustrator whose secret sequential panoramas reveal how his self-penned lifetime fairytale fictionalised a sad troubled childhood.
1901-1990 (Huntsville, USA)
Handyman, painter and whittler, whose carved universe of multi-faced totems and figurines belied their origins as discarded table legs and scraps of old lumber.
1830–1923 (Berlin, Prussia)
Émigré Texan butcher whose multi-volume opus of impossible flying machines protagonised the fictional Sonora Aero Club, of which he was founding father.
b 1937 (Caltagirone, Italy)
Waste not, want not, the recycled garments of this boisterous dressmaker bring boxes, seashells, newspapers and plastic bags back to life in a performative localised version of très haute couture.
1906-1985 (St Helena Island, USA)
Store clerk, laundry worker and Gullah visual folklorist whose outdoor gallery of local notables and African-American heroes inspired a young Jean-Michel Basquiat.
1874-1951 (Davidson County, USA)
Posthumously acclaimed limestone carver, whose tombstone engravings and earthbound visions led him to become the very first African-American to exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in 1937.
1892-1987 (Long Creek, USA)
Visionary dreamscape architect of Trinidadian slave descent, whose draw-or-die practice tied mythic animals, religious symbology and botanical imaginings into a cosmic colourwash symmetry, where all-seeing eyes open pathways to the oneness of our maker.
1942-2010 (Xi’an, China)
Retired factory worker whose daily practice of Qigong inspired visions of health and spirituality, ethereal energy drawings which anticipated her own demise.
b 1988 (New York, USA)
As the parking meters of New York are slowly phased out, so they become nostalgic three-dimensional cardboard fodder for this youthful Weegee of lovingly remembered city transportation.
b 1925 (Catania, Italy)
Relentless art-, love- and myth-maker, whose broad brush-strokes narrow our gaze on the evils of corruption, the power of the divine, the abuses of poverty and the joy of female flesh.
1927-2005 (Voorburg, Netherlands)
Legendary local linesman who evidenced his biographical wanderlust in intense cityscapes, accumulated trolleybuses, passenger planes and locked leather coats.
The mysterious inventions of this Eastern European émigré speak of a fertile and curious mind, with many precious secrets to tell, now inscribed and enclosed for the 21st century to discover.
1884–1961 (London, Britain)
Exhibited East End mediumistic artist whose many thousands of drawings, postcards and tapestries illustrated her powerful and ubiquitous spirit-guide, Myrninerest.
1930-2007 (Vittoria, Italy)
Picasso-praised miniaturist and non-stop creator, whose esoteric portraiture, scribbled inventions, repeated architectures and Sicilian landscapes signify a meaning that their totality reveals.
b 1977 (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
Inspired by his artist parents, this intense colourist is fascinated by the death of his father, his discovery of sex and the horror movies he watches every night.
b 1937 (Sohravard, Iran)
Acclaimed rug-weaver and elder stateswoman of a near-forgotten practice, whose recent foray into painting has yielded an extraordinary body of personal memory, historic tale-telling and poetic imagining.
1820-1897 (Union County, USA)
Masterful woody craftsman, whose modest pre-modernist folding-chairs seated the hunting and fishing crowd and enlightened them with their maker’s progressive texts and scrimshaw designs.
1932-2015 (Rasht, Iran)
This diminutive lick-and-a-promise painter and sculptor proved a powerful Persian storyteller, whose senior years combined a lifetime’s carpentry know-how with an agile rule-breaking aesthetic.
1872-1946 (Lubusz, Poland)
East Coast slipper manufacturer and childhood prodigy who returned to painting in his 70s and was honoured by Alfred Barr with a one-man show at MoMA in 1943.
Retired farmer, lay preacher and loudmouth activist, whose painted biblical and political rants plastered the signs and banners strewn across his home and yard.
c 1830-1900 (Madison County, USA)
Little-known African-born labourer, craftsman and former slave, whose uncoded symbolic autobiographies were immortalised on three Mississippi plantation desks, carved from yellow pine, cotton crates and tobacco boxes.
1894–1948 (Saint-Marc, Haiti)
Third-generation voodoo priest whose fast chicken-feather paintings of rituals and deities were fêted and promoted by noted French surrealist André Breton.
1939-2015 (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)
The faces of the divine peer out through verdant foliage in the private painting practice of this architectural professor and construction engineer, whose intimate environmental debate spreads out like the oils he pumps straight from the tube.
1909–1988 (Kołobrzeg, Poland)
Futurist inventor and citizen cosmonaut, whose imaginary locomotive forms bear witness to a total hospital studio practice and reveal his delightfully convincing ecological science.
1850-unknown (Lakota, USA)
Native American warrior and holyman, whose dense visualisations communicated the heritage of the Lakota tribe alongside his own triumphs as a hunter, horse-stealer and healer.
1903–1981 (Guatemala City, Guatemala)
Formally trained artist and contemporary of Mark Rothko, whose personal belief system was evidenced in densely painted numerological canvases and drawings.
1850-1912 (Lemgo, Germany)
Painter, designer, craftsman and carpenter, whose lifetime legacy was the Junkerhaus: a multi-dimensional marvel of detail and craft, which never housed the family for which its singleton maker longed.
b 1969 (Vienna, Austria)
The positive negativity of this devoted night-time doodler forms a cut-up crossword of cross-hatched critiques and a dense Indian-ink protest of self-absorbed allegations, aberrations and observations.
1948-2015 (Kimbembele Ihunga, Democratic Republic of Congo)
Futurist utopian father of Architectural Modelism, whose found-materiality of shapely stadiums and primary monuments mirrored the political, sprawling aesthetic of his hometown Kinshasa.
Elegant portraitist whose deceptively abstracted markings always resolve themselves into tender descriptions and monochome memorials to the central women of his life.
b 1939 (Jombeza, Iran)
Blackening silhouettes of male-female collision hint at profound concealment, as veils – emotional and actual – flutter across the optimistic pages of this autodidact, intellectual and car mechanic.
b 1945 (Green Bay, USA)
Apocalyptic diagrams with illuminated parables are the stock-in-trade of this former motorbike fiend and part-time hermit, whose rigorous practice serves to communicate a highly stylised Christian brand.
b 1937 (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)
Every day, 9am on the dot, the strict 15-year practice of this former historical educator forms an eternal encyclopedia, capturing not only nature’s daily shifts, but the developing metaphorical landscape of Nizhny Novgorod and beyond.
The tiny eroticised narrative jewels created by this little known introspective artist remained his private companions until his untimely death.
1935-2015 (Cambridge, USA)
Trans-disciplinarian Harvard dropout and founder of the Boston Visionary Cell, whose philosophical, architectural and scientific investigations absorbed complex theoretical constructs and time-travelled his cosmic theories into finely detailed earthworks.
Bi-coloured neighbour of famous Howard Finster whose patriotic target homestead environment represented his daily self-administered electro-shock sex-therapy.
1876–1954 (Saint-Pierre-les-Auchel, France)
Bearded former miner guided by spirit voices, whose monumental pointillistic paintings are littered with mystical references and hidden sexual innuendos.
1899-1991 (Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti)
Gifted blacksmith and self-taught sculptor, who repurposed discarded oil barrels and turned them into grave markers, revered deities and possessed spirits.
1910-1989 (Montfort-en-Chalosse, France)
Jazzed-up postman and part-time spiritualist whose joyous multitudes of figurative landscapes channelled the energies who authored his hourly practice.
c 1895-unknown (Congo)
Historic Congolese re-discovery whose watercolour depictions of village rituals caught the eyes of the Belgian colonial set and were exhibited across Europe.
b 1964 (Yekaterinburg, Russia)
Street artist and ancestral Kabbalist whose secret to eternal youth is shared with any sitter spending twenty two rubles on his or her own chromosome portrait.
1863-1934 (Bordeaux, France)
Bric-a-brac collector and reluctant antiquaire, whose satirical shells formed a caricature cast of the royal and political elite and a cornerstone of Art Brut history.
b 1970 (Tongo, Sierra Leone)
Rat-a-tat-tat go the spacecraft/witchcraft of this Euro-African inventor’s private airborne army, as a sci-fi fantasy from Sierra Leone’s teenage streets bodyguards its owner from the demons of his today.
b 1945 (Monor, Hungary)
An eternal quest for love consumes Hungary’s most infamous Roma painter, for her fearless practice and open-book life decorate all surfaces with the words and colours of her every waking breath.
b 1958 (Prague, Czech Republic)
Unstoppable art-maker and journeyman, whose cultural investigations find evidence in his philosophical ruminations and graphic memories of a life spent in the streets and tunnels of the wintery city.
b 1946 (La Frette-sur-Seine, France)
Original Hayward outsider, whose countryside foraging and junkyard aesthetic gave birth to deliciously repellent families of bulky bourrages, their kitchen-sink lifestyle stinking of sewage, sex, and sin.
b 1934 (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)
Photocopied pamphlets and collaged cosmic maps comprise the non-objects of this vocal non-artist, a former astrologer and alt physicist who comprehends the universe in a way we never can.
b 1961 (Castro Valley, USA)
This art speaks as this artist does, through the gradual repetition of letters and words, drawn, painted or typed, building to the point of abstraction.
Burly Southern entrepreneur and eccentric who took on the Klu Klux Klan, local government and anyone who stood in the way of profit.
Lifetime voyager and instinctive mail artist whose aesthetic pen-pallery spreads love to those he encounters on the pan-European highways and by ways.
1897–1962 (Tomaszówski, Poland)
Devout Catholic shopkeeper whose years spent in hiding during World War Two led to hundreds of obsessive detailed auto-portraits created with just a pencil.
1908-1992 (Michigan, USA)
From his hilltop farm in Oregon, this astral traveller and benevolent pacifist depicted a belief system in etheral watercolour and self-made pigment, which continues to confound and inspire.
1857-1918 (Biloxi, USA)
The self-aggrandising Mad Potter of Biloxi whose turn-of-the-century promotional flair only found a footing when his delicately glazed and folded designs were rediscovered in a 1960s motorbike shop.
b 1976 (Osaka, Japan)
Welcome to the wooly world of the Makoot, a brilliantly psychedelic and effortless alter ego, whose multiplicity forms a mirror for his maker’s complex comedic persona.
b 1956 (Frankfurt, Germany)
Conceptual wunderkind whose visual philosophies and psychoanalyses question his own diagnosed duality and the universality in which it exists.
1928-2015 (Vence, France)
Pastry-cook and private linguist, whose secret ingredients for angular paintings were never revealed and whose pictorial recipes were destroyed in a fit of pique worthy of a true master chef.
1907-1975 (Villers-la-Faye, France)
Civil engineer and civilian scientist whose private spiritual research led him to design a multiplicity of machines, languages, mediumistic devices and robots.
1920-2011 (Oryol, Russia)
Highly celebrated and genre-defying so-called naive, whose monumental depictions of rural and city life found him fame and fortune in his own lifetime.
1992-1984 (Mississippi, USA)
Immeasureably modest barber, preacher and wood-carver, whose African-American heritage and Christian belief informed his dense pictorial histories, bible tales and acclamations, many of which now hang in the Smithsonian Museum.
1895-1976 (Torre Pallavicina, Italy)
The magnificent three-dimensional reliefs of this multi-formatted maker formed just a small part of his symbolic gesamtkunstwerke, a personal mythology which included costumes, furniture and an appropriately long and flowing beard.
1885–1963 (Tepatitlán, Mexico)
Institutionalised émigré whose monumental line drawings of swirling landscapes and speeding trains recalled a long-forgotten homeland and a family left behind.
b 1963 (Sari, Iran)
Energetic memory doodler whose impossible appetite for multi-format surfaces has transformed humble utilitarian sheets into an incredible scribbled oeuvre of forgotten faces, features and feelings.
1894–1984 (Soturac, France)
Family farmer undeterred by blindness, who carved kinetic windmills, fairground rides, farmyard equipment and masterful replicas of the Eiffel Tower.
1936-1997 (St Helena Parish, USA)
Luckless West Coast sign painter who clad his home in warning signs against the ex-wife he loved and sat inside drawing evangelical visions of the future.
b 1931 (Sandillon, France)
Aesthetic gun-runner and Dubuffet discovery whose daily astronautical and ammunitional devices now encompasses gigantic forms of his original modest dimensionality.
c 1850–1920 (Denmark)
Danish immigrant whose hospitalised monographs detail a private stream of consciousness of imagined machinery, historical factoids and elegant penmanship.
1953–2013 (Smolensk, Russia)
Immaculate draughtsman and gardener, whose transcendent studies conveyed the minutiae of long-forgotten rituals which seemed to foretell his eventual demise.
1844-1910 (Laval, France)
The legendary and self-aggrandising douanier so beloved by the Surrealists, whose intense frontal jungle imaginings wowed Parisian society, although the artist himself never travelled beyond his national borders.
1929-1996 (Caltagirone, Italy)
Multi-coloured memorialist whose fertile and increasingly immobile observations commemorated his Sicilian heritage and the hexagonal streets of his adopted hometown.
b 1965 (Appeldoorn, Netherlands)
The epic battle between the artist and her body are all but forgotten in the delicate watercoloured fragments which diarise her real and imagined lives.
b 1964 (San Francisco, USA)
A self-effacing self-taught artist whose brilliantly appealing sci-fi caricatures re-imagine his low-rent childhood past as a high-rise familial future.
c 1900 (Washington, USA)
Unknown 19th-century American visionary whose kaleidoscopic and horoscopic mappings suggest a profound and quasi-scientific belief in the connectivity of all.
b 1982 (Osaka, Japan)
Combat sports fanatic whose hysteric grapplers squash bodies in fondly remembered CG matches and across vast scrolls of densely inked paper.
1894-1968 (Kiev, Ukraine)
Eastern European émigré whose drip-painterly Brighton Beach practice inspired the abstract magpie eyes of Jackson Pollock, yet who returned to informal obscurity without true recognition for her aesthetic due.
1871-1942 (Morges, Switzerland)
Formally-trained artist and musician, whose vagrant wanderings led to a total visual re-incarnation, and whose hallucinogenic books and intense finger-paintings were feted by his cousin, the architect Le Corbusier.
The utopian twenty-year self-propelled practice of this fertile and machinistic inventor belied his modest background in ladieswear and general goods.
b 1961 (Hamburg, Germany)
A thought, a word, a sentence, Stoffer’s daily art practice speaks on his behalf in letters written to a fictionalisation of his own dear mother.
1911–1976 (Paris, France)
Retiring road sweeper whose soaring cathedrals and labyrinthine cities formed a private visionary blueprint for the reconstruction of the capital after the inevitable nuclear holocaust.
b 1968 (Liège, Belgium)
Self-portraits inspired by his identity card feature in the graphic novel autobiography of this fictional WWF wrestler and parent-fixated painter.
1854-1949 (Benton, USA)
The original godfather of African-American art-making, whose sidewalk silhouettes of city folk and village animals were cast in his comic world of exciting events.
1876-1935 (Blankenburg, Germany)
Institutionalised diarist collected and fêted by Dr Hans Prinzhorn, whose shiny pencilled dreamscapes were revealed in semi-fictional memoirs of combat.
1860–1939 (London, Britain)
Wildly successful commercial artist whose ubiquitous drawings of mischievous cats abstracted into virtual wallpaper with the onset of schizophrenia.
1936–2001 (Klosterneuburg, Austria)
Prolific and monumental Gugging artist whose graphic vocabulary of symbols, texts and frontal figures were imprinted on canvases, objects, buildings and trees.
b 1959 (Heerlen, Netherlands)
Dutch artist whose distinctive penned and pencilled urges recollect figures, fields and fast trains from his childhood until the present day.
b 1970 (Liberia)
Itinerant emigre draughtsman of limitless visionary capacity, whose swirling pallette resolves itself into busts, portraits and SUVs, and connects his recent African past to his immediate Dutch present.
1923-2010 (Cherokee County, USA)
Southern visionary who received a divine calling to paint the Books of Revelations and Ezekiel after the sudden and tragic murder of her daughter.
b 1962 (Corvington, USA)
Contemporary Southern-fried artist, whose photographic memory and numerical literacy are revealed on expansive disaster-strewn paper-napkin tableaux.
1891-1972 (Glasgow, Britain)
Born Louis Freeman, this Scottish doodler of birds, plants, Greedies and Evils, was so fêted by Dubuffet and the Surrealists that line-drawing became his life.
1864-1930 (Bern, Switzerland)
The man, the myth, the maker, encouraged by Dr Walter Morganthaler, whose impossibly hallucinogenic visions and texts exemplified not only his own creative essence, but that of the entire field of Art Brut.
b 1972 (Tokyo, Japan)
Layers of primary felt merge in these beautifully proportioned still lives, threaded evidence of a private interior and an abstracted daily routine.
1889-1972 (Missouri, USA)
Action-adventurer and unreliable narrator, whose time in the circus, the military and on the high seas, begat an influential opus of outlines, memory-maps and a thousand far-flung mountainscapes.
1908-1986 (Olomouc, Czech Republic)
Former dental assistant whose late-flowering quasi-botanical illustrations and embroideries formed an immersive practice which often seemed beyond her control.
1916–1974 (San Giovanni Lupatoto, Italy)
Italian serviceman whose profound battle scars found relief in the thousands of text-framed drawings which told a life-story from the farm to the frontline.
1803-1887 (Freistadt, Austria)
Illuminated Austrian illustrator feted by Andre Breton whose fantastical mise-en-scenes brought life to a proto-surreal menagerie which he had never actually encountered.
|click HERE for our website
click HERE for newsletter
click HERE to email us
click HERE for Instagram
click HERE for Facebook
click HERE for Twitter