Commited to the Oliveros psychiatric centre in the Province of Santa Fe in 1963, little is known about Argentinean Aníbal Brizuela's previous life. Born in the Province of Buenos Aires in 1935, this short and skinny man led an austere life at the hospital for forty years, helping hospital staff with their daily tasks and surreptitiously devoting himself to his drawings with colored ballpoint pens on found papers or medicine boxes. If his oracle drawings evoke the Chinese dazibao, this is not only to do with the fact that he likes to display them all over the hospital. Charged with mystical or political references and symbols, punctuated by allusions to current events, his highly structured drawings are striking both for their sibylline character and their formal freedom.
It was only in 2003, when he met Fabiana Imola, director of the hospital's cultural space, that Brizuela started to benefit from the support and stimulation necessary for the thriving of his plastic work. Although he has never accepted the invitation to join other patients in drawing, he agreed to present his works, from 2005, at the ArteBA contemporary art fair in Buenos Aires attracting the attention of numerous national and international collectors and art galleries.
In his feature film Tanke Papi (2010), Rubén Plataneo (Muertes indebidas, 2005) explores the artist's past and attempts to decipher the enigma of the meaning of his drawings. In 2017, Espiritu que vuelve brings together some of Aníbal's texts in which he recounts his telekinetic experiences, the vision of a flying saucer and a temple descending from the sky no one but him is able to perceive. In his short and fragmentary autobiography, Aníbal explains: "I always write with ballpoint pens. I can decipher the shapes, but they're afraid. (...) By concentrating the mind, by building up mental strength, I begin to see and write. When I write, I don't feel anything. I'm concentrating. I can't stop thinking about this book. When the pencil leads are empty, I throw them into the tree to protect the animals eating there."
Aníbal Brizuela is part of major art brut collections and his works have been displayed in the group show Art brut, collection abcd/bruno decharme at Maison rouge in 2014/2015 as well as in The Museum of Everything's travelling exhibition at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Tasmania in 2017/2018. Thanks to the support of his psychiatrist and his entourage, Aníbal left the psychiatric centre in 2012 and moved into a small house in Oliveros. He died in Rosario in 2019.
aníbal brizuela : ordo ab chao, christian berst art brut gallery, paris, from june 6t to july 13th, 2019.
do the write thing2: read between the lines, christian berst art brut gallery, from april 26th to june 2nd, 2018, paris, france.
drawing now art fair, le carreau du temple, from march 22th to 25th, 2018, paris, france.
esthétique de la rage, curator : laurent quénéhen, aponia contemporary art center, villiers-sur-marne, from november 4th to au 26th, 2017.
the museum of everything, from june 10th, 2017, to april 2nd, 2018, mona (museum of old and new art), berriedale, australia.
in abstracto, christian berst art brut gallery, paris, from june 8 to july 15, 2017.
art brut: a story of individual mythologies. works from the treger-saint silvestre collection, curated by christian berst, from june 18th to february 26th 2017, oliva creative factory, sào joào da madeira, portugal.
he tenido un sueño extravagante y horroso, mal de archivo - espacio de arte, rosario, argentina, 2016.
elevations, palais idéal du facteur cheval, hauterives, from april 30th to august 30th, 2015.
art brut live, dox centre for contemporary art, prague, from march 27th to august 17th, 2015.
enciclopedia oliveros, museo de arte contemporáneo (MACRO), rosario, argentina, 2015.
art brut, collection abcd/bruno decharme, la maison rouge, paris, france, from octobre 17, 2014 to january 18, 2015.
colecção treger-saint silvestre collection, oliva creative factory, s. joao da madeira, portugal, 2014.
do the write thing, read between the lines, christian berst art brut gallery, from october 30th to december 21th, 2014, new york, united-states.
salon du dessin contemporain - drawing now, carrousel du louvre du 28 mars au 01 avril 2012.
rentrée hors les normes 2011, découvertes & nouvelles acquisitions, christian berst art brut gallery, from september 10th to 28th, 2011.
sombra de toro, curator: fabiana imola, del infinito gallery, buenos aires, argentina, 2009.
traducción (dibujos), fondo nacional de las artes, buenos aires, argentina, 2008.
son sin nombre. después, el silencio, museo de arte contemporáneo (MACRO), rosario, argentina, 2007.
dibujos, belleza y felicidad gallery, buenos aires, argentina, 2005.
arteBA, club del dibujo, centro cultural borges, buenos aires, argentina, 2005.
dibujos - experiencia abierta 1, el levante - cultural space of colonia oliveros, rosario, argentina, 2003.
exhibition catalog, do the write thing 2: read between the lines, christian berst art brut ed., paris 2018.
espiritu que vuelve : anibal brizuela, ivan rosado ed., rosario (argentina) 2017.
revue multitudes, n°69, winter, 2017.
exhibition catalog, in abstracto, galerie christian berst art brut ed., paris 2017.
céline delavaux, art brut, paris, flammarion, 2016.
exhibition catalog, art brut collection abcd/bruno decharme, la maison rouge, paris, 2015.
exhibition catalog, do the write thing : read between the lines, new york, christian berst art brut, 30 octobre - 21 decembre 2014.
exhibition catalog, treger - saint sylvestre collection, s. joao da madeira, oliva creative factory, 2014.
exhibition catalog, rentrée hors-les-normes 2011, découvertes et nouvelles acquisitions, paris, galerie christian berst art brut, september 10 - september 28, 2011.