80 works from legendary Brazilian outsider artist Arthur Bispo do Rosário (1909-1989) are displayed through October 28th, 2012, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The prolific practice of Bispo do Rosário was almost entirely realized in isolation while residing at a psychiatric hospital in Rio de janeiro, where he was diagnosed paranoid-schizophrenic. Utilizing diverse discarded materials and objects he collected at and around the institution – shoes, buckets, fabrics, bottle caps, etc. – Bispo do Rosário’s ouvre intuitively revisited Duchamp’s ready-mades and looked ahead at Arte Povera while unfolding his own personal narrative, from his early days at the Brazilian Navy to his anticipation of Judgment Day.
Taking shape of ceremonial manteaux, scepters, taxonomy displays, etc., many of Bispo do Rosário’s pieces are adorned with elaborate embroidery, executed with thread extracted from his institutional uniform.
The exhibition also features the documentary The Prisoner of Passage, in which psychoanalyst Hugo Denizart, at the request of the Brazilian Ministry of Health, investigated living conditions at the hospital Colônia Juliano Moreira. There, Denizart shifted the subject of his documentary when encountering Bispo do Rosário and his artwork, and introduced the wonderful and complex world of Arthur Bispo do Rosário to the world.
A major collection of Bispo do Rosário’s work is also presently featured at the 30th Bienal de São Paulo until December 9th, 2012.