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Exhibition showcases colourful works of naive art

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(14 Aug 2017) LEADIN:An exhibition in Brussels is showcasing a colourful collection of works of modern naive art.The biennale show is dedicated to paintings and sculptures in the simple, naive style - often created by artists who have no formal training. STORYLINEA colourful papier mache cat peers at visitors.It's one of the many works on display at Belgian Naive Art Biennale, created by artists from all over the world. Naive art is characterised by a colourful, unsophisticated, almost childlike style. Traditionally, naive artists have had no formal artistic training and do not follow artistic "rules" such as perspective or naturalistic form.Perhaps the most famous artist in the naive style was the 19th century French painter Henri Rousseau, best known for his jungle scenes. Works at the Brussels Biennale include paintings as well as papier-mache statues, and other more unusual materials. Artist Chantal Nyssen created her "The Fairy of the Lienne" from a puzzle of hundreds of tiny, coloured eggshell pieces. Catherine Schmitz, the biennale's curator, says the naive style is seeing a resurgence in popularity. "There were quite a few biennales of naive art 10 to 20 years ago. Then we had a period during which there were fewer of them, and now it's true that naive art is enjoying a second youth. The first edition of our biennale was in 2007, so it's ten years. This is the 6th edition," she says.This year's biennale features different interpretations of naive art around the world, with works by European as well as Central and South American artists.Depicting details is an important aspect of naive art, with artists often painstakingly painting the tiniest items of lace, carpet or even the face of every single person attending a football match. Naive art might at first glance appear superficial, but Schmitz says there's more to it than meets the eye. "When we talk about naive art we think of innocence, pleasure, of childhood memories. It's true that it features pastel colours, roses, infantile and nostalgic themes, kittens, etc. But this is not all: naive art is also a way to look at things. We talk about intellectual realism versus visual realism because artists don't show things as they see them but as they know them," she says. A lack of visual perspective is another common feature of the naive style. What matters is not reality, but the way the artist perceives reality at a specific moment, says Italian painter Paola Cenci. "Painting naive art offers a sense of tranquillity and my artistic path has been guided by this. I would walk in a place, here, for example, I was in Bracciano and saw the lake, the colours, and this gave me the inspiration to create a naive painting. It shouldn't be realistic but, through colours, it should evoke the feelings I had when I saw this beautiful, relaxing scene. For me the purpose of naive art is to inspire joy," she says.For the Belgian painter Jean Pierre Lorand, dreams also play a starring role and are often a way to, albeit briefly, escape from reality. "These days it's more and more important to create an escape. There's a need to share dreams and beautiful things all around us," Lorand says.The message is not lost on visitors like Jean Sacre, who says he enjoys the escapism on offer here."Naive art is generally a very optimistic art form, very colourful," says Sacre."With all that's happening in the world it has a more cheerful view and is very colourful. I like it very much." For the artist Monique Schaar, naive art has provided the means to channel the energy of her busy inner world.Brussels-born Schaar was awarded the first prize at the 2015 Biennale of Naive Art in Brussels and this year she's a guest of honour.You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you... Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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AP Archive 4110769 ef96c112d210945922fdb898392e9896 HZ Belgium Art Biennale Jean South Dakota United States Brussels Belgium Western Europe Arts and entertainment Environment and nature
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