Aloïse Corbaz, ‘Poignard Borgia de Venise’, 1963-1964, Gregor Staiger

About Aloïse Corbaz

Considered a major figure of outsider art, Corbaz originally worked in secret while hospitalized in the psychiatric facility to which she had been committed. In the late 1940s, the artist was discovered by her doctor Jacqueline Porret-Forel, and subsequently included in Jean Dubuffet’s collection of Art Brut in Lausanne. Using the juice from petals, leaves, toothpaste, and later crayons, she produced exuberant drawings in a dominant palette of reds, pinks, and yellows, working on scraps of cardboard or envelopes, sometimes on both sides, to form densely covered rectangles pieced together into larger-scale works. Her passionate themes included dressed-up ladies, princes, love affairs, exotic flowers, and historical or famous figures—Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon, the Pope, Ann Boleyn among them—as well as heroines from opera.

Swiss, 1886-1964