Sarah Lombardi, Edward M. Gómez
This catalogue presents the works of new Japanese creators, subsequent to the catalogue Art Brut du Japon, co-published in 2008 by the Collection de l’Art Brut and editions Infolio. It continues the exploration of the Art Brut creations in Japan initiated in the first book by presenting twenty-five new creators from different regions of Japan, whose works—drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, and textiles—have not yet been included in a theme-based publication like this one. Edward Gómez and Tadashi Hattori are specialists of Japanese Art Brut whose essays discuss the subject and its assimilation in Japan since 2008 in the art of people suffering from a mental handicap. As they point out, whereas the notion of mental handicap resides in aesthetic and sociological criteria (the creators are self-taught, misfits, draft dodgers, prisoners, psychiatric patients, the elderly, etc. who create outside of the official art system), the condition—whether mental or physical—is not a criterion in itself. Their essays help clarify the concept of Art Brut from the standpoint of these new Japanese works.
Sarah Lombardi is an art historian and has been director of the Collection de l’Art Brut since 2013. Since her appointment as head of this Lausanne institution, she has placed emphasis on enhancing the prestige of the museum’s collections by creating biennials of Art Brut (theme-based exhibitions present works exclusively from the institution’s collection) and a new series of publications titled Art Brut, the Collection. Lombardi has published many works linked to the museum’s exhibitions and articles on Art Brut for exhibition catalogues and specialised reviews. She also writes the series of articles L’Art Brut begun in 1964 by Jean Dubuffet, and in November 2016 edited the Almanach de l’Art Brut, a project launched by Jean Dubuffet in 1948, a key work in the history of Art Brut.
Edward M. Gómez is a journalist, art critic, exhibition curator, and a specialist in modern art and Japanese culture, in particular with reference to Art Brut. He has written for The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, S. F. Gate/San Francisco Chronicle, Hyperallergic, Brooklyn Rail, salon.com, ARTnews, Art in America, Art & Antiques, Art + Auction, Metropolis, Interview, Modern Painters, Condé Nast Traveler, Eye (London), The Japan Times, Ikebana Ryusei.
Tadashi Hattori is an associate professor of art history and theory at the Konan University in Kobe, Japan, and a former curator at the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art in Kobe. He writes for numerous publications and curates many exhibitions about Art Brut and arts by the disabled. He collaborates with institutions for Art Brut in Europe such as abcd Art Brut, Adolf Wölfli-Stiftung, Musée de la Création Franche.