About the collection

Art brut, a term coined by Jean Dubuffet in 1945, refers to works of art from the fringes of the art world: the mentally ill, psychic mediums and anonymous people with a compulsion to create. These artists who do not claim to be artists ignore established artistic standards. They are indifferent to showing their work and sometimes even take pains to hide it. Their only aim is to create, and their works are treasures whose discovery requires the soul of an explorer. For to seek out, preserve and collect art brut may be the only genuine artistic adventure left for the twenty-first century.

Richard Treger and Antonio Saint Silvestre are of the race of explorers. Their combined sensitivity and taste for artists off the beaten path, and their years of defending them during their remarkable career as gallery owners in Paris, made it inevitable that their collection feature not only the most authentic art brut, but also artists on the fringe of art brut, artists through whose work “sometimes blow the winds of art brut” (Dubuffet).

The Treger-Saint Silvestre Collection, comprising hundreds of works, of which fully two-thirds may be considered art brut, allows us to enter this unknown world. The movement of art brut is one of freedom, and it is fitting that the Treger-Saint Silvestre Collection should be the perfect reflection of that freedom.

Christian Berst