Joseph Ernest Ménétrier was born in Paris to baker parents. His father died when the boy was eight; the latter was then placed in a boarding school. In 1869 he entered into an apprenticeship with the engraver of the third republic medals. In addition, for four years he took drawing and modelling courses at an art school. Abruptly, his life turned upside down and he was admitted to the Ville-Evrard asylum, where he would stay until he died.
He changed his identity then and adopted the pseudonym Emile Josome Hodinos. He passed his time at the hospital drawing innumerable plans for medals in graphite and India ink on which he made meticulous comments in handwritten texts signed with his assumed name. As support material he used sheets of the paper used in biscuit-making. Strips of paper served as compasses or dividers to calculate the dimensions of his figurines, essentially female, whose anatomy he exaggerated. He would then encircle them with an outline, obtaining the effect of a medal. He also wrote two books : a politic dictionary and The history of European States between 1453 and 1789.
Nowadays Josome Hodinos is considered as a classic of Art Brut, as he has been discovered by Jean Dubuffet, and his work is currently find in the greatest collections as Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne.
do the write thing 2: read between the lines, christian berst art brut gallery, from april 26th to june 2nd, 2018.
l'art brut, martine lusardy, citadelles & mazenod, paris, 2018.
catalogue d'exposition, do the write thing 2: read between the lines, christian berst art brut ed., 2018.
boissière, anne, christophe boulanger, savine faupin et al., mythologies et mythes individuels : à partir de l’art brut, presses universitaires du septentrion, villeneuve d’ascq, 2014.
pasquier, geneviève, michel thévoz, valérie liengme et al., a ma personnagité, atelier jean dasté, angers, 2006.
exhibition catalogue, savine faupin, jean-hubert martin, lucienne peiry et al., dubuffet & l’art brut [collection de l’art brut from june 23rd to september 2005], 5 continents/collection de l’art brut, milan/lausanne, 2005.
thévoz, michel, lucienne peiry, collection de l’art brut lausanne, museen der schweiz, zurich, 2001.
exhibition catalogue, private worlds : classic outsider art from europe : aloïse corbaz, madge gill, émile hodinos[katonah museum of art from december 13th, 1998 to february 28th, 1999], katonah, new york, 1998.
jaccard, roland, le médailleur timbré, critique : revue générale des publications françaises et étrangères, paris, 1996.
maurer, lise, émile josome hodinos, collection de l’art brut, lausanne, 1994.
oakes, john g.h., donal kennison, in the realms of the unreal : « insane » writings, four walls eight windows, new york, 1991.