Museum of Naïve and Marginal Art, Jagodina, Serbia



Museum of Naïve<p>and Marginal Art (MNMA)
35000 Jagodina, Serbia
Boška Đuričića 10
Phone: (+381 35) 8223 419

ABOUT Naïve Art

For decades, art by autodidacts was on the periphery of the general cultural public worldwide. Nonetheless, the art of self-taught visionaries triggered a change in perspectives on art, stirred up many a debate and created a new world of perception. Acting as an alternative art scene that minimalised artistic canons, self-taught art enabled many misunderstood, lonely and wandering poetic souls to flourish within the labyrinth of their mind, free of any censure. Despite most of the world’s art critiques at that time persistently ignoring the phenomenon of self-taught art, with the desire to isolate it from the already established artistic movements, this type of art, first under the term naive art, became the most numerous movement in modern art. In the meantime, after Rousseau, a whole pleiad of French naive artists emerged, as well as a number of artists from other parts of Europe, among them naive artists from the Balkan countries.

Works by self-taught visionaries represent a priceless treasure of yet undiscovered depths. On a thorny road, in their instinctive aspiration for the self-realisation of their genetic code, self-taught visionaries awoke new forms of beauty. With their works, starting in the fourth decade of the 20th century in former Yugoslavia, they gave us the gift of the vast expanses of their individuality. Their enchanting naivety, infantility and repressed instinct have become the creative source of the new artistic energy. In artistic reality, these artists eventually became the symbol of entirely new standards in art. High aesthetic values which characterise their works and primordial creative genetic code made them a phenomenon worthy of respect.

The instinctive depth of thought of the new attitude towards the painting conveyed the freshness of the attained intuition, not the mechanism of mind. The naive or marginal artist exploits the potential of his own insight and poetic essence, the unconscious longing to preserve his identity, the core and idiosyncrasies of his personal experience. He has an innate gift of the need for a specific type of self-expression of poetic desire, which makes him an active creator. And so he cannot be understood merely through logical evolution of previous art or by insufficient development, a series of ineptitudes, in terms of the unfinished process of artistic craft, and therefore his art appears radical. Pushing into the instinctive-intuitive origin of these art formulae makes it possible to acquire first-hand knowledge of art. It is not easy to determine the appropriate criteria for evaluating the level of the aesthetic in the atmosphere of the greatest freedom. To the artists of naive and marginal art, the artists of the instinctive-intuitive, creativity represents the only means for giving form to their memories, dreams, fears and inner struggles, for making the invisible subconscious visible – like alchemists, for giving new reason to their hidden thoughts, and for preserving forgotten customs and traditions and offering them new life within the future artwork. That is why the work of self-taught visionaries, be it naive artists or the so-called marginal artists, often fascinates with the power of authentic artistic expression, which is unique and cannot be learnt, for artists achieve it through the use of their inner potential of the intuitive, where the source of personality comes from an emotional standpoint and not from subjective intellectuality.