Aloïse Corbaz

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Aloïse Corbaz (28 June 1886 – 5 April 1964) was a Swiss outsider artist included in Jean Dubuffet's initial collection of psychiatric art. She is one of very few acclaimed female outsider artists.

Although she dreamt of becoming a singer, she found work as a teacher and a governess at the court of German Kaiser Wilhelm II. While there, she developed an obsessive crush on the Kaiser that would lead to her being diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to a psychiatric hospital in 1918.

She started drawing and writing poetry in secret circa 1920, but most of her early work has been destroyed; director of the hospital Hans Steck and general practitioner Jacqueline Porret-Forel first took an interest in 1936, and her work was finally discovered by Dubuffet in 1947. He believed Aloïse cured herself by ceasing to fight against her illness, by choosing to cultivate it and make use of it instead.[1]

Her work is erotic, consisting primarily of beautiful women with voluptuous curves and flowing hair attended by lovers in military uniform. She used the vivid colors of crayons, pencils, and flower juice to fill entire sheets of paper. Her compulsion to make marks on every inch of paper is a "horror vacui" remarkably similar to that of Adolf Wölfli.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Outsider Art Sourcebook, ed. John Maizels, Raw Vision, Watford, 2009, p.62

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