5th Art Brut Biennial: Beliefs - December 17, 2021 through May 1, 2022

The theme of the 5th Biennial of Art Brut reveals a new facet of the Lausanne museum's collection. Some 300 drawings, paintings, assemblages, sculptures, writings and embroideries by 43 artists have been chosen to form a kind of spectrum of possibilities, ranging from illustrations of divinities and saints to sophisticated abstract compositions, symbolist paintings and ritual objects. The exhibition invites interaction between the worlds of these different artists, even when these worlds remain unique and mutually exclusive. The main angles of approach include works related to religion, a group of "spiritualist" productions, a large number of works based on personal mythologies, and a few pieces created by followers of the occult or dowsing.

Although many Art Brut practitioners live on the fringes of society, they are nonetheless deeply influenced by religion. Religion plays an important role in their education and their daily lives, and colonises their personal imaginary realm. Spiritualists and mediums avoid this authorship issue, claiming to be in contact with the afterlife and guided artistically by the dead or supernatural forces, However, it is often out of modesty or fear of being perceived as frauds that these self-taught artists take refuge in this kind of justification. The exhibition also includes works invested with magical powers by their authors: they may supposedly fulfil a protective function or act as talismans.

Creators of Art Brut stand out among other artists not so much for their metaphysical concerns, but rather for the imaginative approaches and procedures they bring to dealing with them: to taming this unknown world, to seeking explanations about the foundations of being, about life, death or, more humbly, about their own destiny. Most of them have severed connections with society, are marginal or non-conformist, and find no answers in the usual dogmas and structures. Thus they conceive their own beliefs, in the form of singular theories and original systems of thought. And when they engage with religious traditions, they appropriate and reinterpret them.

Curator:Anic Zanzi, curator at the Collection de l’Art Brut

From 17th December 2021 to 1st May 2022

Practical information


December 17, 2021 - May 1st, 2022

Evening opening

Thursday, december 16, 2021, 6:30pm 


Anic Zanzi, Sarah Lombardi and Emmanuel Grimaud, Beliefs, Lausanne/ Milan, Collection de l’Art Brut/ 5 Continents Editions, 2021, « Art Brut, la collection », under the direction of Sarah Lombardi, 168 pages, more than 100 color plates, french and english version.

Guided tours

Upon request for groups and classes: in French, German, English.

Press Kit

To be downloaded on the media page


The exhibition 5th Art Brut Biennial: Beliefs is accessible to people with reduced mobility.

Associated event(s)

  • Free guided tour of the 5th Art Brut Biennial: Beliefs - for teachers - Thursday 20 January 2022, 05:00 pm


  • Matinée autour d'Ataa Oko - Sunday 23 January 2022, 10:00 am


  • Young public workshop "Magic Box" - Saturday 29 January 2022, 02:00 pm


  • Free guided tour of the 5th Art Brut biennal: Beliefs - Saturday 29 January 2022, 02:30 pm


  • Projection au cinéma Oblo autour de l'exposition "Croyances" - Wednesday 2 February 2022, 08:00 pm
  • Visite de l'exposition Croyances pour l'UNIPOP - Thursday 10 February 2022, 07:00 pm
  • Projection au cinéma Oblo autour de l'exposition "Croyances" - Wednesday 2 March 2022, 08:00 pm


  • Young public workshop "Magic Box" - Saturday 5 March 2022, 02:00 pm


  • Young public workshop "Magic Box" - Saturday 2 April 2022, 02:00 pm


  • Free guided tour of the 5th Art Brut Biennial: Beliefs - Saturday 2 April 2022, 02:30 pm
  • - Wednesday 6 April 2022, 08:00 pm