Collection

NAIVE ART

The Clemens Sels Museum Neuss has a valuable and compre - hen sive collection of works of naive art, mostly from the first half of the 20th century.

These works by self-taught artists whose individual styles developed outside academic conventions offer an original, sometimes visionary view of the realm of experience. Naive art first emerged in the 18th century in the United States.

One of the most famous American representatives of naive or folk art is Anna Mary Robertson Moses, known as Grandma Moses who began painting in

1935 at the age of 75. The museum owns one of her major landscape paintings. Naive art came to the atten tion of critics at the end of the 19th century. It was the paintings of Henri Rousseau – who was known as the Douanier, or Customs Official – that aroused the huge interest of the avantgarde. Many modern artists revered primitivism and viewed its simple and primal forms of expression as a source of inspiration. Rousseau was discovered around 1885 by the painter Paul Signac who invited him to the newly founded Salon des Indépendents in Paris, which Rousseau continued to attend regularly in the following years. Through these exhibitions artists like Pablo Picasso and Paul Gauguin became aware of Rousseau and were enthusiastic about the expressive power of his pictures. One of the foremost collectors of lay painting in France was the German gallery owner Wilhelm Uhde. In 1928 he devoted an exhibition to the group known as the Sacred Heart painters that included Louis Vivin, Séraphine Louis, André Bauchant and Camille Bombois. In Germany Adalbert Trillhaase, inspired by his friend Otto Pankok, began painting in 1919 at the age of 60 and became an important figure in the Young Rhineland group of artists.