The letters of Harald Stoffers – part writing, part musical score, part pictorial composition – are of a rare intensity, inviting the viewer both to read them and to contemplate them in silent fascination.
Stoffers was born in Hamburg in 1961. He joined an adult psychiatric institution at the age of twenty-two, and began writing single, or sometimes several, words such as “bell” or “glue gun” on small pieces of paper that he handed out to the people around him. These brief messages eventually expanded into longer letters addressed to his “dear mummy”; the words were placed on meticulously drawn lines reminiscent of musical staves, imbuing them with rhythm and musicality. Stoffers sometimes carefully tore his messages into thin strips that the reader then had to put back together.
Stoffers’ dense, dancing art, the object of a documentary by Youssef Tabti shown at "La Force de l’art 02" (Grand Palais, Paris, 2009), was exhibited at the gallery christian berst art brut in 2009 and at Art Paris and Drawing Now Paris in 2010. It was also presented by the Museum of Everything at the Pinacoteca Agnella in Turin the same year. In 2012, Stoffers was exhibited among other Art Brut artists at the Chalet Society, Exhibition #1 in Paris. A monographic exhibition of his work will be held in October 2013 at the YIA Art Fair in Paris. Interest in his letters has now spread far beyond the milieu of Art Brut.
leben in art brut, hannah rieger's collection, bildraum bodensee, seestraße, 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.
the museum of everything, mona (museum of old and new art), berriedale, australia, from june 10th, 2017, to april 2nd, 2018.
art brut : a story of individual mythologies, oeuvres de la collection treger saint silvestre, oliva creative factory, são joão da madeira, portugal, from june 18th to february 28th, 2017.
on the wire by jean-hubert martin, christian berst art brut & jean brolly galleries, from april 9th to may 22nd, 2016.
du nombril au cosmos, autour de la collection abcd/ bruno decharme, art)&(marges musuem, brussels, belgium, from september 25th, 2015 to january 24th, 2016.
preTENse, christian berst art brut, paris, from september 12th to october 21th, 2015.
art brut live, dox centre for contemporary art, prague, czech republic, from march 27th to august 17th, 2015.
le mur, oeuvres de la collection antoine degalbert, la maison rouge, paris, from june 14th to september 21st, 2014.
do the write thing, read between the lines, christian berst art brut, paris, from october 30th to december 21st, 2014.
art brut masterpieces et découvertes, carte blanche à bruno decharme, christian berst art brut, paris, from october 21st to november 29th, 2014.
art brut : breaking the boundaries, treger-saint silvestre collection, curator : christian berst, oliva creative factory, sao joao da madeira, portugal, from june 1st to september 11th, 2014.
yia, young international artists, christian berst art brut booth, bastille design center, paris, from october 23rd to 27th, 2013.
rentrée hors les normes 2013, découvertes et nouvelles acquisitions, christian berst art brut, paris, from septembre 7th to october 12th, 2013.
drawing now, christian berst art brut booth, carrousel du louvre, paris, from march 28th to april 1st, 2012.
outsider art fair, christian berst art brut booth, 7 west 34th street, new york, united states, from febreuary 11th to 13th, 2011.
art paris, christian berst art brut booth, le grand palais, paris, from march 18th to 22nd, 2010.
harald stoffers, liebe mutti / chère maman, christian berst art brut, paris, from april 24th to june 11th, 2009.
drawing now, christian berst art brut booth, le carreau du temple, paris, from march 19th to 24th, 2009.
l'art brut, under the direction of martine lusardy, citadelles & mazenod, paris, 2018.
exhibition catalogue, leben in art brut, hannah rieger collection, bildraum bodensee, seestraße, 2018.
exhibition catalogue, do the write thing 2: read between the lines, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2018.
multitudes, n°69, winter, 2017.
exhibition catalogue, on the wire by jean-hubert martin, echristian berst art brut ed., paris, 2016.
exhibition catalogue, do the write thing : read between the lines, christian berst art brut ed., new york, 2014.
exhibition catalogue, art brut masterpieces & découvertes : carte blanche à bruno decharme, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2014.
exhibition catalogue, art brut, collection abcd/bruno decharme, la maison rouge, flammarion, paris, 2014.
exhibition catalogue, treger-saint silvestre collection, oliva creative factory, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2014.
"arte bruta", by richard treger, in raw vision n°81, spring, 2014.
exhibition catalogue, rentrée hors-les-normes découvertes et nouvelles acquisitions 2013, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2013.
exhibition catalogue, everything # 4, the museum of everything, london, 2011.
"art & disability", sue steward, in raw vision # 73, 2011.
"l'art brut aujourd'hui", artension, hors série n°4, september, 2010.
"they are no.1", qixin, in beautiful heart, surface n°21, august, 2010.
exhibition catalogue, the museum of everything, electa, milan, 2010.
exbition catalogue, harald stoffers, liebe mutti /chère maman, lelivredart ed., paris, 2009.
"de l’art des fous à l’art brut", christian berst, in vernissage n°3, 2008.
"a singular notation", peter heidenwag, in raw vision n°64, 2008.
harald stoffers, briefe, ed. elbe-werkstätten, hamburg, 2004.
- collection de l'Art brut, Lausanne (Switzerland)
- abcd collection, montreuil (France)
- Antoine de Galbert collection, Paris (France)
- Treger Saint Silvestre collection, Porto (Portugal)
- Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Miami (United States)
- collection of Kanransha, Tokyo (Japan)
- Hervé Lancelin Pinacothèque, Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
selective press review
- art-newspaper authors christian berst in artnewspaper édition française, july-august 2019.
- de quoi l'art brut est-il le nom ? authors la rédaction in artnewspaper édition française, july-august 2019.
- Une foire pour collectionneurs en herbe authors Emmanuelle Lequeux in le monde, december 9, 2016.
- L'art brut mis en avant à la galerie l'Entrepôt authors in Monaco info, July 14, 2016.
- Sur le fil authors Claire Margat in Art Press n°434, June 2016.
- art brut à la galerie Christian Berst authors Catherine Vernet in IntériEUrité, November 23, 2014.
- Do the Write Thing: Read Between the Lines authors Michael Brown in under-main.com, December 20, 2014.
- Phillip March Jones, Dear Mother authors Phillip March Jones in Alabama Chahin, December 15, 2014.
- Harald Stoffers at Do the Write Thing Christian Berst Art Brut Gallery authors editorial in Boogie Tonight, November 7, 2014.
- l'art brut sous les feux des projecteurs authors la rédaction in La Tribune.fr, October 15, 2014.
- à l'heure brute authors Stéphane Corréard in Libération NEXT, October 11, 2014.
- Christian Berst : «L’art brut a toujours existé et il existera toujours» authors Dominique Poiret in Libération NEXT, October 2, 2014.
- La Valise de Christian Berst authors Thierry Paret et Linda Lorin in Radio Nova, April 15 2014.
- Arte bruta authors Richard Treger in Raw Vision, spring 2014.
- Humains, traits humains authors Lorraine Rossignol in Télérama Sortir n° 3328, October 23 2013.
- Beautiful heart authors in China Visual, February 22th 2011.
- They are n°1 authors in Surface, August 2010.
- Christian Berst, diamantaire de l'art brut authors in Vernissages, August 17th 2009.
- Harald Stoffers fête sa liebe Mutti authors in Animula Vagula, May 13th 2009.
- Sur Harald Stoffers authors in Charlie Hebdo, May 6th 2009.
- Galerie Objet trouvé authors in Beaux Arts, March 4th 2009.