Carlo Zinelli, recto verso - September 19, 2019 through February 2, 2020

This solo show features works by the historic and leading Art Brut creator Carlo Zinelli (1916-1974), aka "Carlo." Jean Dubuffet acquired several of the latter's pieces as of 1963, thanks to Carlo’s psychiatrist Vittorino Andreoli, the first person to champion Carlo's artistic output. Today, the Collection de l'Art Brut holdings include ninety-nine of his pieces, enabling this public institution to boast the greatest number of that Italian creator's works in museological possession. Furthermore, since Carlo often painted and drew on both sides of his supports — indeed, doing so consistently as of 1962 — this body of works comes to one hundred and sixty gouaches, including some of his rare collages.

Carlo's graphic language is unique and instantly recognizable, distinguished as it is by both the repetition of certain motifs and numerous changes of viewpoint and scale. Right from the start, Carlo added writings to his gouaches; between 1966 and 1969, writing even became central to his compositions. Year after year his works came to feature ever more confident strokes and more assertive spatial initiative. 

This show features all of Carlo's works belonging to the Collection de l'Art Brut holdings, and covers the entire time span — from 1957 to 1972 — of his creative output. It features both sides of his numerous front-and-back pieces, almost all of which are on an equal par in quality and intensity. Above and beyond this major trove of works, the show also entails sculpture pieces and documents supplied by this creator's family, together with recordings of Carlo's voice. Photographs by John Phillips attest to the special conditions surrounding the works produced: those of the psychiatric hospital San Giacome alla Tomba in Verona, where Carlo resided from 1947 to 1969. Also shown is the free expression workshop that the Scottish sculptor Michael Noble instigated and that Carlo attended. The photos portraying Carlo at work reveal all his pleasure and concentration, as well as the lighthearted atmosphere reigning among all the workshop participants (for instance, on outings such as to Lake Garda). It was thus in an unusual context of this sort that Carlo was able to link up with his deepest inner self, which he went on to convey to us in bits and pieces thanks to his at once magnificent and strange paintings.

Exhibition Curator: Anic Zanzi, Museum Curator for the Collection de l'Art Brut 

The exhibition catalogue presents several monographic articles signed by specialists in various fields. As such, it brings to light various to-date little handled aspects of this particularly rich and diverse body of works. For example, it sheds light on the writings that Carlo mixed in with his compositions.


Vous êtes plutôt avec ou sans limites?, La puce à l'oreille, RTS, 19 septembre 2019
Art brut: Carlo, Recto verso et réciproquement, Vertigo, RTS1, 19 septembre 2019
Carlo Zinelli, une odyssée sans limites, Florence Millioud-Henriques, 24Heures, 9 octobre 2019
Carlo Zinelli, une figure sous-cotée de l'Art Brut, Eric Tariant, Le Temps, 8 octobre 2019
Carlo Zinelli, au delà de l'Art Brut, Jill gasparina, Le Temps, 1er novembre 2019
Carlo Zinelli, recto verso,
Claire Margat,, 7 novembre 2019

Omaggio a carlo Zinelli, tra arte e follia,
Corona Perrer, Sentire, 27 novembre 2019
Carlo Zinelli, recto verso,
Edward.M. Gómez, Raw Vision, hiver 2019-2020

Carlo Zinelli, grandeurs et misères de l'Art Brut, Philippe Godin, La Diagonale de l'art, 9 janvier 2020

Carlo Zinelli, Claire Margat, Artpress, janvier 2020

Practical information


september 20, 2019 - February 2, 2020

Opening reception

Thursday 19 september 2019, 6:30pm


Anic Zanzi, Pauline Mack, Valérie Rousseau, Florence Millioud-Henriques, Marta Spagnolello, and al., Carlo Zinelli, recto verso, under the direction of Sarah Lombardi, Lausanne/ Milan, Collection de l'Art Brut/ 5 Continents Editions, 2019 (192p./ 180 ill.). 

Guided tours

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

Press kits

To be downloadedfrom august 2019 


The exhibition Carlo Zinelli, recto verso is accessible to people with reduced mobility.

Associated event(s)

  • Guided tour of the"Carlo Zinelli, recto verso" exhibition for teachers - Thursday 26 September 2019, 05:00 pm - online booking, within the limits of the seats available.
  • Young People's Workshop "Le recto-versé" SOLD OUT - Saturday 5 October 2019, 02:00 pm
  • Free guided tour of the "Carlo Zinelli, recto verso" exhibition SOLD OUT - Saturday 5 October 2019, 02:30 pmall public - online booking, within the limits of the seats available.
  • Screening of the film "Les heures heureuses" de Martine Deyres - Wednesday 30 October 2019, 07:00 pm
  • Young People's Workshop "Le recto-versé" FULL - Saturday 9 November 2019, 02:00 pm
  • - Thursday 21 November 2019, 07:00 pm - online booking, within the limits of the seats available.
  • Visite et conférence autour de l'exposition "Carlo Zinelli, recto verso" - Wednesday 15 January 2020, 06:00 pm
  • Young People's Workshop "Le recto-versé" - Saturday 25 January 2020, 02:00 pm
  • Free guided tour of the "Carlo Zinelli, recto verso" exhibition - Saturday 25 January 2020, 02:30 pm