People - 3 july through 13 november 13, 2016 - July 3 through November 13, 2016

People - 3 july through 13 november 13, 2016
The very title of this exhibition seems to run counter to the anonymity valued by the creators of Art Brut: men and women little inclined to seek celebrity. These self-taught persons, for the most part unknown to the public, enjoy depicting movie stars, musicians, singers, athletes and political figures in their works. The fame of such people holds a certain fascination for many producers of Art Brut. Today's widespread "people press" is akin to a collective iconography that has become part and parcel of the visual culture of all sectors of society, including the creators of Art Brut. When Jean Dubuffet first declared Art Brut to be "unscathed by society," he was alluding to culture in an academic and official sense. He would later admit that both cultural virginity and total acculturation are inexistent.

The exhibition presents a gallery of portraits all belonging to the museum holdings. It comprises a great number of celebrities such as Gary Cooper, Marilyn Monroe and Sharon Stone; Elvis Presley and Johnny Hallyday; the French cyclist Bernard Hinault and champions in other categories; or even  Abraham Lincoln and Aung San Suu Kyi, together with Prince Charles and Camilla! Frequently, these works are images of images: they have been created by copying from photographs or movies. Nevertheless, the works by such creators are unaffected by the cultural codes governing the reproductions to which they resort. Instead, they adapt fragments representing our society on their own terms, integrating them into a world of their own. They suffer no constraints and can even, at times, handle their subjects rather irreverently. Art Brut creators who attend art workshops use magazine and book illustrations only as a starting point for their work. Indeed, often the identity of the glossy page persons they copy is totally unimportant to them. Revisiting or reinventing such persons in their own highly personal style tends to almost demythologize the figures depicted.

The great creativity that shows through Art Brut works affects all those who view them. David Bowie is one among many of the celebrities to have felt the intensity they convey: "Switzerland also enabled me to discover Art Brut, which made a strong impression on me, on my creative activity. I remember bringing along Brian Eno to the Lausanne museum, and spending hours with him admiring the works on display, thinking about the creative process and the boundaries artists are ready to cross in their quest..."

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

The "People" exhibition in the medias:
"People à la Collection de l'Art Brut", RTS Espace 2, 26 july 2016
"Lausanne/La Collection de l'Art Brut sort ses "People" des réserves", Bilan, blog d'Etienne Dumont, 21 july 2016
"Les people dans le miroir de l’Art Brut", La Liberté, Thierry Raboud, 6 july 2016
"PEOPLE", Sur la Terre, 6 july 2016
"L'Art Brut sort sa galerie de people", 24 heures, 14 july 2016
"In Switzerland, Art Brut goes back to its roots", Hyperallergic, Edward M. Gomez, 16 july 2016
"L'Art Brut, les stars et la politique", Le Temps, 19 july 2016
"Les People de la Collection de l'Art Brut à Lausanne", l'Agora des Arts, Elisabeth Hopkins, 15 august 2016
"VD: l’exposition "People" à Lausanne propose une iconographie consacrée à des personnalités connues ", RTS, le 12h45, 10 september, 2016
"Brut People", RSI, 10.10.2016

Practical information


3 July - 13 November 2016

Opening reception

Saturday 2 July 2016, 6pm

Exhibition curator

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


People, sous la direction d’Anic Zanzi, Lausanne : Collection de l’Art Brut, 2016, 32 pages.
Les journalistes Michel Audétat du Matin Dimanche, Jean-Blaise Besençon de L’Illustré, Luc Debraine de L’Hebdo, Edward M. Gómez, critique d’art et journaliste indépendant, à New York, ainsi que Florence Millioud Henriques de 24 heures ont collaboré au magazine illustré qui accompagne l’exposition.


The People exhibition is partly accessible to persons with reduced mobility.

Free guided tour
duration 60 min

saturday 10 september 2016, 2:15pm
Free entry on 10 and 11 september : Journées européennes du patrimoine.
online booking, within the limits of the seats available.

Guided tours for the public at large are scheduled for the same times as the Young People's workshops.

Young public workshop (ages 6-10)
Duration 1h45/ Fee: 10.- per child

saturday 10 september 2016, 2pm
saturday 8 october 2016, 2pm
online booking, within the limits of the seats available.

Guided tours

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


The exhibition People - 3 july through 13 november 13, 2016 is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.