Magali Herrera

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Magali Herrera
Known for
Patron(s)Jean Dubuffet

Magali Herrera (1914–1992) was a Uruguayan self taught artist who wrote, danced, acted and made films in addition to producing the oeuvre of paintings of Utopias, for which she is known.[1][2]


Magali Herrera was born in 1914 in Rivera, Uruguay[2] to a notable local family.[3] She was an autodidact who worked in a variety of media prior to creating the visual works for which she is known. She was a precocious writer of poems and stories, which were never published, and also wrote for several daily papers, working as a journalist. She enjoyed organizing poetry evenings and befriended well known Uruguayan poet Juana de Ibarbourou.[4][3] She began painting intermittently in the early 1950s but it wasn't until 1965, after a period of severe depression, that she began to paint regularly.[1] This activity became central to her existence with periods of intense creative work during which she would paint day and night. Depression, occasionally so intense that it resulted in suicide attempts, continued to plague her and in 1992 she took her own life.[3]

Collections and exhibits[edit]

Magali Herrera's work is primarily held in the Collection de l'Art Brut museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. Her works have been featured in Collection de l'Art Brut exhibitions including a 1996 retrospective[5] and the Art Brut Biennial II: Architectures, in 2015[6] for which an accompanying catalog of the exhibition Architecture: Art Brut the Collection, published by 5 Continents Editions, was produced[7] A selection of her work was presented by Galerie Christian Berst [fr] at the 2010 Art Paris.[5] In 2015 her work was included in the exhibition Le Cahier Dessiné at the Halle Saint-Pierre in Paris.[8]


In 1967, while traveling with her husband, she completed two drawings in Paris which she took to show, renowned painter and patron of many Art Brut creators, Jean Dubuffet, leaving her work with his secretary. Dubuffet immediately bought the works.[4] Dubuffet's interest led to other purchases: the director of Plaisir de France, Claude Fregnac, bought two pieces and author Michel Tapié acquired work as well.[4]


  1. ^ a b Maclagan, David (2009). Outsider Art: From the Margins to the Marketplace. Reaktion Books. p. 181. ISBN 978-1861895219.
  2. ^ a b "HERRERA MAGALI". Collection de L'Art Brut Lausanne. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Peiry, Lucienne (2001). Art Brut: The Origins of Outsider Art. Flammarion. pp. 283–302. ISBN 978-2080105844.
  4. ^ a b c "100 years of Magalí Herrera". Arte Otro en Uruguay. November 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Magali Herrera biography". Galerie Christian Berst. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Art Brut Biennial II: Architectures" in Lausanne". Bigmat International Architecture Agenda. December 29, 2015. Archived from the original on 25 October 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Architecture: Art Brut the Collection". 5 Continents Editions. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  8. ^ Peiry, Lucienne (January 16, 2015). "Exposition sur les Cahiers dessinés à la Halle Saint-Pierre, Paris". Retrieved 15 March 2018.

External links[edit]