Thursday 26 July 2018

Art et Marges Musée; Outsider art in Brussels

We discovered this little museum on a trip to Brussels back in April. Housed in a rather nondescript unit in a row of shops, with its entrance at street level in a brick and concrete slab block, it's easy to overlook. The museum is dedicated to "outsider art": work created by untrained artists outside the mainstream, often with social problems, learning difficulties or psychiatric problems. 

During our visit, there was a joint exhibition by Guy Brunet and Josselin Pietri, both self-taught artists and cinema enthusiasts.

Guy Brunet (b 1945, Viviez-Aveyron, France) is the son of cinema operators. After doing a variety of jobs, and becoming unemployed in the 1980s, he decided to become a one-man filmmaker. He produces his own handcrafted films, writing his own screenplays, and using cardboard cutout characters and sets constructed from cardboard. 

Josselin Pietri (b 1973, Parilly, near Lyon, France) creates sculptures and pictures, also using cardboard and also inspired by the movies.

It was an amazing display. The artworks were beautiful and wonderful creations, made from the most commonplace of materials. The exhibits perfectly captured the spirit of the movies. Many of them had lots of charming details, and all were very inventive.

The first floor gallery showed works by other artists. I'm ashamed to say I failed to record the names of many of them, but it was a marvellous and varied display, of which this is a selection.

I was particularly taken by these guns and rockets by André Robillard (b 1931):

When you visit the museum (which you must), look in on the nearby Cité Hellemans, a beautiful art nouveau-influenced social housing complex built in the early 20th century. Also close to the museum are the eclectic furniture and antique shops on Rue Haute and Rue Blaes.

Art et Marges Musée
Rue Haute, 314
1000 Brussels