05.15.2012 to 10.21.2012
Fondation Cartier | Paris - Brazil


[...] The processes are often summary: for José Bezerra, any search for the forest, with the help of rudimentary instruments, is enough to lead to the appearance of disquieting beings, birds, animals, monsters, and also hybrids between human beings and animals […] 

Laymert Garcia dos Santos

Text: Regarder Autrement, extracted from the catalogue of Histoires de Voir | Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, France. 


An exhibition with works of over 40 painters, sculptors and cinema directors from the whole world, including people from Brazil, Mexico, the Congo, Japan, the United States, Haiti and Denmark. These are artists who started under uncommon circumstances, people of poor origins and lacking support, who had never been invited to participate in an exhibition before. They have the opportunity to show their talents developed through primitive means. "Show and Tell celebrates those who adventure off the beaten track, seeking new artistic approaches, suggesting that other forms of contemporary art are realistically possible".


Histoires de Voir – Show and Tell

On show from 15 May to 21 October 2012, the exhibition by the name of Histoires de voir: Show and Tell presented the work and narratives of over 40 painters, sculptors and film directors from around the world.  They are Brazilian, Indian, Congolese, as also Haitian, Mexican, Danish, Japanese and American. They come from urban centres like Paris or Port-au-Prince, or from rural communities in Amazonia or Madya Pradesh. They came about as artists and have developed their talent under unusual circumstances, and they were often considered primitive artists and were rarely invited to show their work in contemporary art institutions.

From another angle
Show and Tell came from a need to explore the meaning of terms such as “naïve”, “primitive” and “a self-learner of art”, to get to know the artists that seek paths outside the standards of conventional visual codes, and also to examine the relationships between contemporary art and popular art, between the artist and the artisan. This exhibition makes an effort to break free from the eyes, to see things from another angle, to give a voice to the artists and communities of artists who look at the world with admiration, and it is from and by men and women with whom art has “close ties with the hypersensitivity of the heart” and whose works are “live documents” in the words of Alessandro Mendini, the Italian architect and designer who is the curator of this exhibition.

The Artists’ Voice
Including over 400 works, together with videos and text materials providing insights into the artist’s work, this exhibition shows the many correspondences which exist between work coming from different geographical regions, systems of creeds, and cultures. In fact, despite the great diversity in styles, they have many common characteristics, such as the exuberance of colours, distortion of scales and stylisation of form. Equally dominant is the representation of animals and nature. and the importance of the oniric kingdom and the imagination as an inspiration for work. Show and Tell celebrates those who adventure away from the beaten track in seeking new approaches to art, suggesting that other forms of contemporary art are really possible. This is confirmation of the creative power of artists for whom painting, filming, drawings, and sculpture are a way of understanding and experimenting with the world.

Source: Fondation Cartier. Histoire de Voir - Show and Tell. Online. Available at: < http://fondation.cartier.com/#/en/art-contemporain/26/exhibitions/294/all-the-exhibitions/248/histoires-de-voir-show-and-tell/ >. Accessed 23 October 2012.