Born in 1948 in Sicily, Giovanni Bosco was a shepherd and labourer in a marble quarry until the murder of two of his brothers caused him to develop psychosis. He underwent treatment in a psychiatric hospital for a while and then spent a year in prison, apparently for the theft of some livestock. Yet none of these experiences dimmed his charming smile or his deep-rooted impulse to transform his poverty-stricken life into an act of pure poetry. He spent his days in Castellamare del Golfo listening to traditional Neapolitan songs and producing art of rare imaginative power, painting his works on the walls of the town or whatever came to hand. Giovanni Bosco’s pictorial alphabet consists of dismembered or “over-membered” bodies, tiny snakes, homunculi, and cephalic hearts, punctuated with words and signs. His genius eventually came to light, shortly before he sadly died of cancer in 2009.
Art historians and specialists in art brut have since devoted a series of one-day conferences and studies to his work. A group of students – some of his last real friends – made a film recording his last few months, while a project is underway to restore and protect his frescos. An exhibition is also being planned at the Collection de l’art brut in Lausanne. We are proud to present a representative selection of works by a man who called himself dottore di tutto, and who found art to be a sovereign remedy against all the difficulties with which life burdened him.
historias de violencia, curator: gustavo giacosa, oliva creative factory, sao joao da madeira, portugal, from april 14th to october 14th, 2018.
do the write thing 2: read between the lines, christian berst art brut gallery, from april 26th to june 2nd, 2018.
giovanni bosco, dottore di tutto 2, christian berst art brut gallery, paris, from march 8th to april 14th, 2018.
drawing now art fair, carreau du temple, paris, from 22th to 25th march, 2018.
3rd biennial of art brut: body, collection de l'art brut, lausanne, switzerland, from novembre 17th, 2017 to april 29th, 2018.
heterotopias : architectural dwellings, curator : matali crasset, christian berst art brut gallery, from december 2nd, 2017 to january 20th, 2018.
art brut : une histoire de mythologies individuelles, works from the treger saint silvestre collection, curator: christian berst, oliva creative factory, são joão da madeira, portugal, from june 18th to february 28th, 2017.
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, united states, from october 30th to december 21th, 2014.
art brut : breaking the boundaries, works from the treger-saint silvestre collection, curator : christian berst, oliva creative factory, sao joao da madeira, portugal, from june 1st, 2014 to september 11th, 2014.
raw vision, halle saint pierre, paris, from september 18th, 2013 to august 22th, 2014.
banditi dell'arte, halle saint pierre, paris, from march 23th, 2012 to january 6th, 2013.
arte bruta, terra incognita, curator : christian berst, fondation arpad szenzes - viera da silva, lisbon, portugal, from april 20th to september 13th, 2012.
drawing now - salon du dessin contemporain, carrousel du louvre, paris, from april 11th to 14th, 2013.
outsider art fair, 7 west 34th street, new york, united states, from february 11th to 13th, 2011.
giovanni bosco, dottore di tutto, christian berst gallery, paris, from march 18th to april 19th, 2011.
rentrée hors-les-normes 2010, découvertes & nouvelles acquisitions, christian berst gallery, paris, from september 16th to october 16th, 2010.
martine lusardy, l'art brut, citadelles & mazenod, paris, 2018.
claire margat, "graphomanies brutes", art press 2, n°49, august, september, october 2018, pp.52-56.
exhibition catalogue, historias de violencia, collection treger/saint silvestre, nucleo de arte da oliva, sao joao da madeira, 2018.
exhibition catalogue, do the write thing 2: read between the lines, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2018.
exhibition catalogue, giovanni bosco : dottore di tutto 2, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2018.
journal multitudes, n°69, winter, 2017.
exhibition catalogue, heterotopias : architectural dwellings, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2017.
lucienne peiry, bonhomme d'art brut, thierry magnier ed., lausanne, 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, collection treger-saint silvestre, oliva creative factory, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2014.
eva di stefano, "giovanni bosco", in fascicule de l'art brut n°24, collection de l'art brut, lausanne, 2013
lucienne peiry, l'art brut, collection de l'art brut/ infolio, lausanne, 2013.
exhibition catalogue, arte bruta, terra incognita - collection treger-saint sylvestre, fondation arpad-szenses - viera da silva, lisbon, 2012.
jean-louis lanoux, "giovanni bosco ou le sourire d'un monde fragmenté", art brut, outsider, modeste, la revue culturelle des pays de la loire, n°119, 2012.
exhibition catalogue, giovanni bosco, dottore di tutto, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2011.
myriam boutoulle, "l’art brut sort de l’ombre", connaissance des arts, december, 2010.
exhibition catalogue, rentrée hors-les-normes 2010, découvertes et nouvelles acquisitions, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2010.
"rentrée hors-les-normes 2010", parisart, september 2010.
andré rouillé, "art brut, art des imbéciles", parisart, n°325, 9 september 2010.
"they are no.1", qixin, beautiful heart, surface, n°21, august 2010.
exhibition catalogue, giovanni bosco, atlante del cuore, museo delle trame mediterranee, fondazione orestiadi, gibellina, 2009.
giovanni bosco. dottore di tutto, zep, castellammare de golfo, 2009.
d. de johannon, “nel nome di bosco”, centonove, 3january 30th, 2009.
giovanni bosco, librairie privat/l’art de voir, paris, 2009.
jean-louis lanoux, “giovanni bosco au cœur de l'art brut”, création franche n°30, 2009.
v. di miceli, “addio al pittore“ visionario giovanni bosco”, giornale di sicilia, april 3rd, 2009.
p. nicita, “è morto giovanni bosco, siciliano dell’art brut”, la repubblica, april 2nd, 2009.
p. nicita, "l’art brut di bosco, pittore di serpenti”, in la repubblica, april 2nd, 2009.
e. di pasquale, “castellammare del golfo, è morto giovanni bosco, l’artista povero”, la sicilia, april 4th, 2009.
eva di stefano, “anatomical enigma, eva di stefano discovers the late-flowering work of artist giovanni bosco”, raw vision n°67, 2009.
e. valenza, “giovanni bosco, profeta dell’arte brut”, giornale di sicilia, january 31st, 2009.
p. nicita, “il pittore che dipinge sui muri. storia di un outsider di strada”, la repubblica, september 21st, 2008.
giovanni bosco. dottore di tutto, documentary film directed and produced by zep group, 2008, 30'.
catalogue published to mark the exhibition
march 8 to april 14, 2018
forewords: christian berst
270 pages quadri, 8.2 x 8.2 inches, bilingual french / english
Price : 25 €
ISBN : 979-10-90463-49-3
- collection de l'Art brut, Lausanne (Switzerland)
- abcd collection, montreuil (France)
- Treger Saint Silvestre collection, Porto (Portugal)
- Fondazione Orestiadi, Museo delle Trame Mediterranée, Gibellina (Italy)
- Hervé Lancelin Pinacothèque, Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
- Amr Shaker collection, Genève (Switzerland)
selective press review
- du chant des signes giovanni bosco, artiste brut contemporain authors annabelle dupret in flux news, june 2018.
- graphomanies brutes authors claire margat in art press, third quarter 2018.
- giovanni bosco : dottore di tutto authors bénédicte philippe in télérama sortir, march 16, 2018.
- giovanni bosco : miracle à l'italienne authors brigitte ollier in libération, august 27, 2014.
- Dessins (prière de toucher) authors Philippe Ducat in oh cet echo, April 2013.
- Giovanni Bosco, géographe du vivant authors Catherine Cazalé in Tatourag, March 191th 2011.
- Giovanni Bosco : le berst of authors in animula vagula, March 14th 2011.
- Giovanni Bosco, Dottore di tutto authors Céline Delavaux in PARISart, March 11th 2011.
- Beautiful heart authors in China Visual, February 22th 2011.
- New York: 2011 Outsider Art Fair is open for businesses - and surprises authors Edward M. Gomez in Edward M. Gomez, February 11th 2011.
- Mental Images: A View from the Outsider Art Fair authors Paul Laster in Flavorwire, February 11th 2011.
- Une rentrée hors-les-normes authors in Télérama sortir, September 29th 2010.
- They are n°1 authors in Surface, August 2010.