Outsider Art Fair
En  Fr

Paris 2017

OAF Talks

Produced in collaboration with Hôtel Drouot

RSVP: info@outsiderartfair.com

Daniel Cordier: In Conversation with Anne Sauvagnargues and Valérie Rousseau

Saturday, October 21, 2017
12:00 PM
Hôtel Drouot
9, Rue Drouot 
75009 Paris

In conjunction with our Curated Space presentation Daniel Cordier and Outsider Art, you are cordially invited to attend a panel discussion featuring Daniel Cordier and his journey as a gallery owner and collector. He will be joined by Antoine Gentil, curator of the exhibition, as well as Anne Sauvagnargues and Valérie Rousseau.

In 1942 and 1943, Daniel Cordier was the secretary of Jean Moulin, who introduced him to modern art. At the end of the war, Cordier began to write, paint and collect. In 1956 and during the next eight years, he opened galleries in Paris, Frankfurt and New York. His collection was the subject of an important donation to the Centre Pompidou.

Anne Sauvagnargues
is a philosopher and an artist represented in the Daniel Cordier donation. A professeur at Nanterre since 2010, she is the author of numerous essays on art and contemporary philosophy. 

Valérie Rousseau
(Ph.D. Art History, UQAM, Montreal) is a curator at the American Folk Art Museum in New York since 2013, in charge of the Art Brut and self-taught art collection from the 20th Century until the present. She has curated numerous exhibitions, notably When the Curtain Never Comes Down (2015) about performance art.


Karel Appel and the Influence of Outsider Art

Saturday, October 21, 2017
2:00 PM
Hotel Drouot
9, Rue Drouot 
75009 Paris

One of the founding members of the post-war art movement Cobra, Karel Appel first discovered Jean Dubuffet's work and his collection of Outsider Art in 1947 at Galerie Rene Drouin in Paris. In 1950, Appel revisited the city to see the groundbreaking International Exhibition of Psychopathological Art, which featured more than 2000 works by patients deemed mentally ill. Appropriating the accompanying brochure, which featured descriptions of the patients' pathologies but no illustrations, Appel covered the pages with his own spontaneous drawings and collages, and he kept the transformed catalogue, which he titled Psychopathological Notebook, with him for the rest of his life. Taking this history as a point of departure, this panel discussion examines the influence of Outsider Art on Appel’s work and continuing impact of Cobra and Outsider Art on contemporary artists.

Vincent Noce
Art critic and writer

Noce is the French correspondent of The Art Newspaper and works for several art magazines, including the Gazette Drouot, where he is an Editorial Advisor. He was the Arts and Culture Editor and Food and Wine Editor for Libération from 1994 to 2015 and is the author of books on the history of Drouot, on art trafficking and on the relationship of such artists as Claude Monet, Odilon Redon and Salvador Dali with science.

Franz Wilhelm Kaiser
Director, Bucerius Kunst Forum, and Professor at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg

From 1989 to 2016 Kaiser was Director of Exhibitions at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, where he curated the exhibition Karel Appel, Retrospective in 2016. Vice President of the Karel Appel Foundation, Kaiser has written about the importance of the Psychopathological Notebook to Appel’s work and in 2005 curated the exhibition Arnulf Rainer and his Collection of Art Brut, which paired Rainer’s art with works from his Outsider Art collection, at La Maison Rouge in Paris.

Choghakate Kazarian
Curator, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

Appointed curator at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2011, Kazarian’s exhibitions include Lucio Fontana, Retrospective in 2014, Henry Darger, 1892-1973 in 2015, Piero Manzoni, Achrome in 2016 and Karel Appel in 2017. She previously participated in a panel discussion of Sex and Outsider Art at OAF Paris 2015.

Agathe Snow
Multidisciplinary Artist

Snow’s art engages connected themes of change and community, which early in her career often took the form of carnivalesque happenings, such as dinner parties (organized with her sister and performance artist Marianne Vitale,) dance marathons and social interventions. Her work has been exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, New Museum, Jeu de Paume, Deutsche Guggenheim and Whitney Museum of American Art and is in the permanent collections of the Saatchi Gallery, Zabludowitz Collection, Dikeou Collection and Guggenheim Museum.

"Karel Appel and the Influence of Outsider Art" was organized by Paul Laster, an art editor, writer and curator based in New York.

Curated Space

Daniel Cordier and Outsider Art

The last exhibition at Daniel Cordier’s Paris gallery, 8 ans d’agitation, opened on June 10, 1964. In the show, Cordier looked back on the history of his gallery with a selection of the artworks in his hands due to his encounters and relationships with artists such as Jean Dubuffet, Henri Michaux, and Bernard Réquichot. It was a retrospective devoted to one of the most passionate and unusual art promoters of the second half of the twentieth century. Thanks to the high profile of his Paris gallery and his branches in Frankfurt and New York, as well as the donation of his collection to the Centre Pompidou in 1989, his artists enjoy great visibility.

Among the authors in Cordier’s gallery and his collection are figures that we would associate today with Outsider Art. However, it wasn’t his intention to build a collection of art brut – or what would later be called art singulier – as such. Rather, he cut across categories as his passion dictated. His donation to the Centre Pompidou is composed of works by seventy artists, ten of whom are connected to Outsider Art. The exhibition Daniel Cordier and Outsider Art features works from his personal collection and works similar to those in his donation.


In late 1959, Galerie Daniel Cordier, on rue de Miromesnil, hosted a show called Exposition inteRnatiOnale du Surréalisme. Organized by André Breton and Marcel Duchamp, the exhibition brought together works by seventy-five participants, including Aloïse Corbaz and Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern. The latter was one of the few artists, along with Zoltan Kemeny and Georges Mathieu, whose work Cordier had collected but never displayed.


Like the works by the “old Berliner Sonnenstern,” the drawings by “a lady from Frankfurt, Ursula Bluhm,” were discovered by Dubuffet in 1954. Cordier found Ursula’s pieces in the studio of her husband, artist Bernard Schultze, and devoted a solo exhibition to them in 1963. The show was accompanied by a brochure featuring an essay by Alain Jouffroy.


In 1959, Cordier discovered the work of Eugène Gabritchevsky, whom he considered “the man closest in spirit to Ursula,” during a visit to the Collection de l’Art Brut. In 1960, he acquired a large group of drawings from gallery owner Alphonse Chave and collector Jacques Uhlmann, who had purchased, through Dubuffet, several thousand works from Gabritchevsky’s brother. Cordier devoted solo exhibitions to Gabritchevsky in each of his locations, starting in 1961. 


The Centre Pompidou collection includes two paintings by mediums. One is by plumber and zinc worker Fleury Joseph Crépin and was donated by Jacqueline Victor Brauner in 1973, and the other is by miner Augustin Lesage and was in the Cordier donation. Lesage heard voices deep within the mine that told him, “Don’t fear, we are close to you, one day you will be a painter.” In 1912 he began his first painting, which measured nine square meters (ninety-seven square feet) and took over a year to complete. He continued to paint until he died, in 1948.


In the Cordier donation, Gabritchevsky’s and Lesage’s works sat alongside production that was more remote from the history of art brut, such as pieces by Aristide Caillaud and Gaston Chaissac. Caillaud’s paintings entrusted to Dubuffet were returned to their creator before the exhibition l’art brut préféré aux arts culturels organized at Galerie Drouin in 1949, and therefore did not become part of the Collection de l’Art Brut. In this exhibition were the works by Chaissac that would later be conserved in Dubuffet’s annex collection called Neuve Invention in 1982.


Also conserved in the Neuve Invention collection are works by artist Pierre Bettencourt, whose first exhibition of haut-reliefs, in 1956 at Galerie Drouin, was presented by Henri Michaux. It was through Claude Viseux, the first artist to be shown at Galerie Daniel Cordier, that Cordier discovered the work of Bettencourt, which he exhibited in 1963.



Attracted to reproductions of drawings by Fred Deux in a magazine, Cordier immediately decided to share his discovery with the public in an exhibition of Deux’s work in 1962. As Cordier said, he preferred “prospecting for unknown joys” over “confirmation of proven pleasures.”



The corpus of artworks by Michel Nedjar was acquired in 1984, directly from the artist, for the 1989 donation. The group of works is composed of dolls – the Chairdâmes – that Cordier discovered in the Collection de l’Art Brut. Dubuffet and Michel Thévoz became interested in this body of work in 1981. These pieces were in the annex collection until 1983 and were then integrated into the Art Brut collection.



Cordier’s collection expressed his loyalty to his artists and his interest in composing emblematic groupings. It also includes a representative grouping of works by Georgik, from those executed in his youth, when he used a typewriter and an iron, to those made in 2016. Georgik is remarkable for of his invention of tools that allow him to bypass traditional drawing techniques.

Although the works in Daniel Cordier and Outsider Art represent only one aspect of this immense collection, the exhibition nevertheless reveals a panorama of Outsider Art and pays tribute to the man who organized Art Brut in his New York gallery in 1962 (first exhibition in the Americas).

Exhibition curator: Antoine Gentil

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