Michel Nedjar

 

Michel Nedjar was born in 1947 in Soisy-sous-Montmorency (Val d’Oise, France) from a family of Jewish origin, Polish his mother, Algerian his father. The third of seven siblings his childhood was touched by a fascination for cloth and the tailor profession of his family, which he replicated with the clothes he used to made for his sisters’ dolls. Still a boy, probably watching Alain Resnais’ Nuit et brouillard Nedjar discovered the Holocaust and knew about many of his family members tragic fate. After quitting school for a career in tailoring and having accomplished his compulsory year of military service he left for Mexico the first of a long series of journeys abroad. Fascinated by the dolls and the mummies he discovered in Central America and by the magic and the mystery surrounding them, on his return he begun creating his own versions by using rope, rags, feathers and mud. While his production grows from figurative to more and more grotesque and abstract Nedjar discovered his compulsive need for creation and pretty soon extended it from dolls to drawing on diverse scrap surfaces (canvas, envelops, etc.) and, in the sixties to experimental filmography. Meeting Dubuffet, who soon became a fan of his work, meant for Nedjar meeting art brut: enthusiastically Nedjar begun his own explorations and started a personal collection. Founder of the Aracine Museum, the most important art brut museum in France, today absorbed by the Lam museum in Lille, Nedjar is one of the most important art brut creator himself with works not only in Lausanne but in many of the collections around the world, as well as in the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris.

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