The result of the symposium held in September 2019 in Arles, the book Autodidacts: From Van Gogh to Pirosmani brings together all the contributions given by thinkers, teachers and artists invited to discuss autodidacticism through multiple perspectives.
With texts by:
Ciprian Adrian Barsan – Mehdi Belhaj Kacem – Mathis Collins – Bice Curiger – Philippe Dagen – Diedrich Diederichsen – Susanne Von Falkenhausen – Giorgi Khoshtaria – Charlotte Laubard – Wato Tsereteli – Natsuko Uchino – Raphaela Vogel –Gilda Williams
This symposium was the third in a series of conferences conceived by the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles and exploring the work and legacy of the Dutch painter. The first, “Van Gogh—Duchamp: Oil & Water?”, was held in January 2015 and the second, “Van Gogh Pre-Pop”, in March 2017.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, while “les refusés” were organizing away from the Salon, there was rising interest in artists considered self-taught, those learning outside the academies and without masters. But the art of autodidacts, also called the “art of the insane”, “art brut”, “primitive” or “naive” art, defies categories and definitions as much as it arouses debate. What modernist preoccupations, from childlike wonder to the primitive, does it echo?
Focusing in particular on two 19th-century autodidacts, Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) and Niko Pirosmani (1862–1918), and exploring the issues this notion raises today, at this symposium art historians, critics, curators, writers, artists and teachers offered their analysis of self-education from multiple perspectives. The complex figure of the autodidact can enlighten us on our value systems, our approaches to teaching and how recognition is given in a world where different conceptions of culture coexist.
French and English versions
Technical details: 15 × 22 cm, 152 pages, visible sewn binding, images in colour
Graphic design: Judith Spinatsch
Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles
Release in bookshops in January 2021 and now available on the Fondation’s e-shop