Jill Galliéni was born in 1948 to an American mother and a French father, and has always lived in Paris. Her father was an actor. She was brought up by guardians until the age of seven, when her father took over her care. She began creating her strange fabric dolls at a very early age. She turned to prayer towards the age of thirty as a way of helping her to rebuild her life and free herself from the vicious mental traps that were stopping her from living her life to the full. She initially wanted to “speak” through the medium of words, but, finding it unbearable to see sentences written in her own hand, she invented sentences from prayers – always the same, repeated hundreds of times. These formed tightly bundled garlands so that the meaning of the prayer would remain a mystery. The prayers are addressed to Saint Rita, patron saint of lost causes, and refer to situations, people, her own circumstances, and so on. They feature imitations of the written word or superimposed layers of writing in black or coloured ink, covering loose sheets of paper and notebooks. Thus freed from the constraints of convention, the writing roams in different directions, following its own rhythm, forming curves and diagonals and creating calligram flowers, houses, hearts, and abstract shapes.
Her striking texts – including a rare notebook presented at the Histoire(s) de carnet exhibition at Drawing Now Paris in 2010 – have recently been acquired by the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art.
scrivere designando: when language seeks its other, contemporary art center, geneva, switzerland, from january 29th to may 3st, 2020.
au delà : aux confins du visible et de l'invisible, christian berst art brut, paris, from march 7th to april 13th, 2019.
flying high, künstlerinnen der art brut, curators : ingried brugger, hannah rieger, veronika rudorfer, kunstforum, vienna, austria, from february 15th to june 23rd, 2019.
leben in art brut, hannah rieger's collection, bildraum bodensee, bregenz, austria, from july 14th to august 16th, 2018.
do the write thing 2: read between the lines, christian berst art brut, paris, from april 26th to june 2nd, 2018.
drawing now art fair, le carreau du temple, paris, from march 22th to 25th 2018.
living in art brut, 123 works from the hannah rieger collection, museumkrems, bad vöslau, austria, 2017.
outsider art museun, collaboration between, the dolhuys, cordaan and the hermitage amsterdam, netherlands, 2016.
les unes et les autres, centre d'etude de l'expression et centre hospitalier sainte-anne, paris, from april 14th to july 10th, 2016.
du nombril au cosmos, autour de la collection abcd/ bruno decharme, musée art)&(marges, brusels, belgium, from september 25th to january 24th, 2016.
soit 10 ans, états intérieurs, christian berst art brut, paris, from september 12th to october 21st, 2015.
drawing now, carreau du temple, paris, from march 25th to 29th, 2015.
do the write thing: read between the lines, christian berst art brut, new york, from october 30th to december 21th, 2014.
drawing now, carrousel du louvre, paris, from march 28th to april 1st, 2012.
outsider art fair, 7 west 34th street, new york, united states, from february 11th to 13th, 2011.
rentrée hors-les-normes 2010, découvertes & nouvelles acquisitions, christian berst art brut, paris, from september 16th to october 16th, 2010.
exhibition catalogue, au delà : aux confins du visible et de l'invisible, christian berst art brut ed, paris, 2019.
exhibition catalogue, flying high, künstlerinnen der art brut, ingried brugger, hannah rieger, veronika rudorfer, kunstforum, vienna, kehrer verlag, heidelberg, 2019.
"graphomanies brutes", claire margat, art press 2, n°49, august, september, october 2018, pp.52-56.
exhibition catalogue, do the write thing 2: read between the lines, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2018.
exhibition catalogue, leben in art brut, hannah rieger collection, bildraum bodensee, seestraße, 2018.
exhibition catalogue, soit 10 ans, états intérieurs, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2015.
exhibition catalogue, do the write thing : read between the lines, christian berst art brut ed., new york, 2014.
exhibition catalogue, 1_2_3 scultures de fibres, gilbert lascault, "les egnigmes textiles de jill galliéni", museum jean-lurçat et de la tapisserie contemporaine d'angers, angers, 2012.
exhibition catalogue, maree, galerie rizomi, turino, 2011.
exhibition catalogue, rentrée hors-les-normes 2010 découvertes et nouvelles acquisitions, paris, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2010.
« l'art brut aujourd'hui », artension, hors série n°4, september 2010.
jean barral, infinitude, saint-benoît-du-sault, tarabuste éd., 2008.
catherine firmin-didot, « jill galliéni, l'écriture compulsive » in télérama hors-série n°106, la révolution surréaliste, 2002.
selective press review
- graphomanies brutes authors claire margat in art press, third quarter 2018.
- L'art brut mis en avant à la galerie l'Entrepôt authors in Monaco info, July 14, 2016.
- Comment émergent les bruts ? authors Marie Zawisza in L'oeil, April 2015.
- Les portes, entre ombre et prières, Beverly Baker et Jill Gallièni authors Pascal Ordonneau in Soliloques sur l'art, February 2015.
- Une rentrée hors-les-normes authors in Télérama sortir, September 29th 2010.