Clemens Wild - June 14 through October 27, 2024



Clemens Wild’s paintings feature protagonists with names like Babsi, Sam and Uschi: these figures – with their colourful clothing and hair, smoking cigarettes – form a gallery of women who, despite a life of hardship, stand tall with confidence and dignity. They share the same modest backgrounds, low social status and distant origins. Through these works, they talk about their stories, their struggles, their pastimes, and their hopes for the future.

Wild’s paintings shine a spotlight on people working in undervalued occupations. His works convey the sense of solidarity the artist feels towards these women, having experienced marginalisation himself: Wild has spent the past 42 years living at Humanushaus, an anthroposophical residential and work community near Bern for people with disabilities. After observing women working in the institution’s kitchen, apartments and workshops, he decided to pay tribute to them through his art.

Clemens Wild (b. 1964) was born into a family of booksellers. He has harboured a lifelong passion for drawing and fantasy. The stories he writes and draws are both a source of pleasure and a way of making sense of the world around him. Some women have appeared repeatedly in Wild’s paintings over the past four decades. He depicts them standing still and facing forwards, going about their routine work duties, chatting during their breaks, or waiting at the bus stop. He takes care to give each woman an individual personality: they are dressed not in typical workplace attire, but in distinctive yet practical and functional clothing. No detail escapes his eye, which he has honed over many years spent in the closed-off world of the Humanushaus.

Wild produces paintings in a variety of sizes, using whatever materials he can find: kraft paper, A4 sheets, cardboard-box lids or small paper bags. He also writes texts based in part on personal accounts, in which the women talk about themselves. In addition to bringing the characters to life, these calligraphic writings in black felt pen interact with and complement the image, producing a visually impactful composition. The texts, in the original German and translated into French, have been recorded and made available to the public.

Since 2012, Wild has attended Rohling, a Bern-based artists’ collective. The opportunity to use the studio’s facilities, interact with other artists, participate in exhibitions and go on trips has broadened his horizons, adding complexity to his artistic practice and sharpening his powers of social critique.

In 2024, the Collection de l’Art Brut acquired 12 pieces by Wild. This exhibition, the first large-scale solo show of his works, is accompanied by a documentary produced by Philippe Lespinasse. The exhibition also coincides with the publication of Art Brut Fascicle No. 27.

Curated by Teresa Maranzano, art historian


Practical information

Dates

June 14, October 27, 2024

Evening opening

Thursday, June 13, 2024, 6:30pm

Publication

Art Brut Fascicle No. 27

With articles on Pascal Vonlanthen and Clemens Wild by Teresa Maranzano.

Plus articles on Alphonse Eugène Courson by Alain Renon, Jean Leclercq by Erwin Dejasse, Félix Martin by Olivier Bathelier, Jean-Marie Roussillon by Philippe Lespinasse, Jane Ruffié by Paul Ruffié, and Rolf Spiller by Delphine Bovey.

International symposium

“Disability art studios: new sources for Art Brut?”

Monday, september 30, 2024

Guided tours

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

Press Kit

To be downloaded on the media page

Accessibility

The exhibition Clemens Wild is accessible to people with reduced mobility.

Associated event(s)

  • Public opening of the "Clemens Wild " show - Thursday 13 June 2024, 06:30 pm

      


  • Children’s workshop: “Design your own bag” - Saturday 22 June 2024, 02:00 pm

    For children aged 8 and older.
    There will be a children’s tour of the exhibition before the workshop.
    Time: 2pm–3:45pm. Price: CHF 10 per child.

    Booking via the online ticket shop


  • Free guided tour of the "Clemens Wild" show - Saturday 22 June 2024, 02:30 pm

    By Teresa Maranzano, curator
    booking via the online ticket shop


  • Free guided tour of the "Clemens Wild" show for teachers - Tuesday 3 September 2024, 06:00 pm

    By Sophie Clément, mediator

    Booking via the online ticket shop


  • An evening with Clemens Wild - Thursday 10 October 2024, 07:00 pm

    Cinéma Bellevaux, Lausanne

    Tickets available from the cinema box office. No reservation required.


  • Children’s workshop: “Design your own bag” - Sunday 27 October 2024, 02:00 pm

    For children aged 8 and older.
    There will be a children’s tour of the exhibition before the workshop.
    Time: 2pm–3:45pm. Price: CHF 10 per child.

    Booking via the online ticket shop


  • Free guided tour of the "Clemens Wild" exhibition - Sunday 27 October 2024, 02:30 pm

    Visit for the general public, adapted for the visually impaired

    By Mali Genest, cultural mediator at the Collection de l'Art Brut

    Free guided tour, museum admission charged

    Booking via the online ticket shop


Biography-ies

Shop