Josef Hofer might not speak, but he draws constantly. He was born in 1945 and spent his early life on a farm in Upper Austria. The family lived in isolation since Josef and his brother both suffered from learning difficulties and hearing and speech problems – Joseph also had impaired mobility – and his father wished to spare them from being teased by the locals and, more importantly, to protect them from the Nazis and, later, the Soviets. When Josef’s father died in 1982, his mother took him and his brother to live in Kirschlag, giving him the chance for some social contact and the opportunity to attend a day clinic. These changes proved beneficial, and Josef even spoke a few words. He later became an inpatient at an institution in Ried, where Elisabeth Telsnig spotted his love of drawing and encouraged his creativity. Pepi, as he signs his works, observed and narrated his own life. His works are a mirror reflecting himself and the spectator and revealing the hypnotic infancy of art. As Michel Thévoz writes, “Josef Hofer is in a state of grace” – an erotic, untrammelled form of grace where the body strives to break free from the prison of the frame. The sensual, raw nudity shines through the confident, unpolished lines in warm hues.
Numerous exhibitions and publications have been devoted to Josef’s art since the retrospective held by the Collection de l'Art Brut in 2003. His drawings – shown at our gallery in 2008, at Drawing Now Paris in 2009 and 2010, and at Art Paris 2010 – are now featured in all the major Art Brut collections world-wide. His work was shown at Turin 2010 by the Museum of Everything, while 2011 will see a retrospective of his work, together with a catalogue, in Prague. Later this year, he will also become the first artist to have a second retrospective devoted to his work at the Collection de l’Art Brut, accompanied by a major book-length study.
heterotopias : architectural dwellings, curator : matali crasset, christian berst art brut gallery, from december 2nd, 2017 to january 20th, 2018.
la maison, curator : gustavo giacosa, galerie zola cité du livre, aix-en-provence, from september 30th to december 30th, 2017.
living in art brut, 123 works from the hannah rieger collection, museumkrems, krems an der donau, austria, from september 8th to october 26th, 2017.
art brut : a story of individual mythologies, works from the treger saint silvestre collection, oliva creative factory, são joão da madeira, portugal, from june 18th to february 28th, 2017.
the eloquent place: new works by josef hofer and harald stoffers, cavin-morris gallery, new york, united states, from september 8th to october 8th, 2016.
sur le fil, by jean-hubert martin, christian berst art brut gallery & jean brolly gallery, paris, from april 9th to may 22th, 2016.
art brut live, dox centre for contemporary art, prague, czech republic, from march 27th to august 17th, 2015.
the schiele incident : recent works by josef hofer, christian berst gallery, new york, from february 19th to april 12th, 2015.
art brut, collection abcd/bruno decharme, la maison rouge, paris, from october 17th, 2014 to january 18th, 2015.
do the write thing, read between the lines, christian berst gallery, new york, from october 30th octobre to december 21th, 2014.
le mur, oeuvres de la collection antoine de galbert, la maison rouge, paris, from june 14th to september 21th, 2014.
raw vision, halle saint pierre, paris, from september 18th to august 22th, 2014.
art brut : breaking the boundaries, works from the treger-saint silvestre collection, curator : christian berst, olivia creative factory, sao joao da madeira, portugal, from june 1st,2014 to september 11th, 2014.
outsider art fair 2013, hôtel le a, paris, from october 24th to 27th, 2013.
drawing now 2013, carrousel du louvre, paris, from april 11th to 14, 2013.
josef hofer et le miroir, collection de l'art brut, lausanne, switzerland, from march 9th to may 13th, 2012.
alter ego, christian berst gallery, paris, from december 2d, 2011 to january 12th, 2012.
salon du dessin contemporain 2011, drawing now, caroussel du louvre, paris, du 25 au 28 mars 2011.
art paris 2010, le grand palais, paris, from march 18th to 22th, 2010.
salon du dessin contemporain, caroussel du louvre, paris, from march 19th to 24th, 2009.
salon du dessin contemporain, caroussel du louvre, paris, from april 10th to 14th, 2008.
josef hofer, collection de l'art brut, lausanne, switzerland, from june 6th to august 24th, 2003.
exhibition catalogue, heterotopias : architectural dwellings, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2017.
exhibition catalogue, la maison, gustavo giacosa, claire margat castlebooks, genoa, 2017.
exhibition catalogue, sur le fil by jean-hubert martin, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2016.
exhibition catalogue, de l'art des fous à l'art sans marges, carine fol, skira / art)&(marges, 2015.
exhibition catalogue, josef hofer : transmutations, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2012.
exhibition catalogue, the schiele incident : recent works by josef hofer, christian berst art brut ed., new york, 2015.
exhibition catalogue, do the write thing : read between the lines, christian berst art brut ed., new york, 2014.
exhibition catalogue, art brut collection abcd / bruno decharme, la maison rouge, paris, 2015.
exhibition catalogue, le mur - oeuvres de la collection antoine de galbert, la maison rouge, paris, 2014.
exhibition catalogue, collection treger-saint silvestre, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2014.
"josef hofer", lucienne peiry, frédéric pajak, le cahier dessiné n°9, buchet/chastel, paris, 2014.
"lebenshilfe oberösterreich mit josef hofer", elisabeth telsnig, kunst, die verbindet, vienna, 2014.
raw vision 25 ans d’art brut, martine lusardy, john maizels, halle saint pierre, paris, 2013.
josef hofer (monographie), bibliotek der provinz, linz, 2013.
exhibition catalogue, borderline, artisti tra normalistà e follia, museo d'arte della città di ravenna, gabriele mazotta ed., milan, 2013.
collection de l’art brut, lucienne peiry, collection de l'art brut/skira-flammarion, lausanne/paris, 2012.
exhibition catalogue, arte bruta, terra incognita, viera da silva, arpad-szenses fondation, lisbon, 2012.
"zwischen playmobil und selbstbetrachtung, die aubergewöhnliche welt des josef hofer", in aq, winter 2012.
exhibition catalogue, josef hofer, alter ego, elisabeth telsnig, philippe dagen, christian berst art brut ed, paris, 2012
exhibition catalogue, everything # 4, the museum of everything, london, 2011.
exhibition catalogue, josef hofer , galerie am stein, schärding, 2011.
200 pages quadri, 9 x 9 in, bilingual french / english
photographies by Mario del Curto
Price : 30 € | 40 $
Co published with les éditions Le livre d'art, 2011
ISBN : 979-23-55321-19-1
catalogue published to mark the exhibition
December 5, 2015 to January 16, 2016
forewords: Christian Berst
photographies : Mario del Curto
192 pages quadri, 8.2 x 8.2 inches, bilingual french / english.
Price : 20 €
ISBN : 979-10-90463-34-9
- collection de l'Art brut, Lausanne (Switzerland)
- LaM, musée d'art moderne, d'art contemporain et d'art brut de Lille Métropole, Villeneuve d'Ascq (France)
- art)&(marges collection, Bruxelles (Belgium)
- madmusée, Liège (Belgium)
- Arnulf Rainer collection, Vienne (Austria)
- abcd collection, montreuil (France)
- Treger Saint Silvestre collection, Porto (Portugal)
- Hannah Rieger collection, Vienne (Austria)
- collection Sylvie and Stéphane Corréard, Paris (France)
selective press review
- hétérotopies : architectures habitées authors bénédicte philippe in télérama sortir, january 3.
- L'art brut mis en avant à la galerie l'Entrepôt authors in Monaco info, July 14, 2016.
- Josef Hofer authors Philippe Dagen in Le Monde, January 16, 2016.
- Exhibition of works by Josef Hofer opens at Christian Berst art brut authors in artdaily.org, December 7, 2015.
- Exposition Transmutations - Josef Hofer - Galerie Christian Berst Art Brut authors la rédaction in Artistik Rezo, December 8, 2015.
- The Schiele Incident authors Paul Brown in Raw Vision, July 2015.
- Artists to Watch at NADA New York 2015 authors Artspace Editors in Artspace, May 8, 2015.
- Le dessin contemporain dans tous ses états authors AFP in L'Essentiel, March 26, 2015.
- L’art brut s’invite à Drawing Now authors Agathe Chéron in Art/ctualité, March 25, 2015.
- en marge (Josef Hofer) authors Nathalie de Saint Phalle in FauxQ, spring/summer.
- l'art brut sous les feux des projecteurs authors la rédaction in La Tribune.fr, October 15, 2014.
- L'art brut à contre courant authors Aurelie Romanacce, Pascaline Vallee et Patrick Le Fur in Arts Magazine, September 2014.
- 5 clefs art brut le singulier en question(s) authors Colin Cyvoct in L'oeil, November 2013.
- Dessins (prière de toucher) authors Philippe Ducat in oh cet echo, April 2013.
- Zwischen Playmobil und Selbstbetrachtung, Die auBergewöhnliche Welt des Josef Hofer authors in AQ, winter 2012.
- Christian Boltanski & Philippe Dagen : l'art brut est-il soluble dans l'art contemporain ?(extraits) authors Christine Dory in , December 13 2011.
- L'innocent accroché aux murs authors Christophe Donner in Le Monde - le magazine, December 24th 2011.
- Josef Hofer, alter ego authors Marie-Jeanne Caprasse in Paris Art, December 22 2011.
- Josef Hofer, alter ego authors Bénédicte Philippe in Telerama Sortir, december 14th 2011.
- interview of christian berst on josef hofer exhibition for Paris Web TV authors Sandrine Lancien, présenté par Smahen in Officiel galeries et musées.com, December 2011.
- Josef Hofer, alter ego authors in L'officiel des galeries et musées, December 2nd 2011.
- L'émotion brute dans le guide du marché de l'art 2011 authors in Le Figaro / Beaux Arts, April 2011.
- They are n°1 authors in Surface, August 2010.
- Art Paris nouvelle formule, Foire ou spectacle authors in Beaux Arts, March 2010.
- Josef Hofer : corps à corps authors David Maclagan in Raw Vision, Summer 2008.
- Invitation à l'exposition : Josef Hofer : corps à corps authors in Animula Vagula, January 15th 2008.