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Anick Langelier
Cauchemar aux corbeaux, 2013

 
It is simply impossible not to quote Jean Dubuffet when speaking of Anick Langelier’s paintings, for they are true examples of the Art Brut genre he formulated. A predecessor of contemporary “outsider” art, it referred to work done by the disenfranchised, the mentally ill, those imprisoned, on the fringes of society. With no formal training, these artists made art that shattered all convention, and in the process, revealed its true calling. For what is art if not a form of language, a vehicle for our innermost expression, our innermost demons. Dubuffet (1901-1985) had wonderful advice for these unconventional creators, and that was to remain irreverent, and uninhibited.

Get drunk on art, he would say: “There is no art without intoxication. But I mean a mad intoxication! Let reason teeter! Delirium!” It is all there in the frenetic artwork of Langelier, who has battled mental illness all her life, finding the only solace in painting, painting like a woman possessed, painting like mad. She draws endless inspiration from art books that she devours, immersing herself on a daily basis in others’ imagery in search of a panacea, a release from the nightmare that imprisons her mind.

(Suite de l'article dans la version imprimée de Vie des arts)