Outsider Art Fair
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Raphaël Lonné

French, 20th century.
Born 1910, Acquitaine, France; died 1989, Bordeaux, France.


Raphaël Lonné was a French Spiritualist medium who produced lyrical, intricate pen and ink drawings on paper while in a trance state. His practice as a draftsman was initially grounded in seances, and his work came to the attention of Jean Dubuffet in 1963, who declared them worthy of inclusion in the category of art brut.

Born in Acquitane in 1910, Lonne was a sickly, yet creative child. He left school at the age of 12, and went on to work as a concierge, a chauffeur, a conductor, a maintenance worker at a children's hospital, and eventually the town postman. As a young man he composed music and drew, but did not start to work in his signature, mediumistic mode until he became active in local Spiritualist seances.

Lonné drew in a trance, from the top left of each page to the bottom right, allowing his hand to be guided by spirits conjured in the room. His early compositions feature discrete, recognizable figures--both animals and people--and his later works evolved into abstract reveries that look like manuscript pages written in a mysterious script. His lyrical, swirling compositions share commonalities with the art of other Outsiders working mediumistically, with whom Lonné had no contact. Such unexplained correspondences challenge us to consider the medium's claim to be guided by spirits as more than simply a quaint alibi. 

- Jenifer P. Borum


Selected Exhibitions

2011, Amicalement brut: Collection Eternod & Mermod, Musée d'art moderne Lille Métropole, Villeneuve d'Ascq

2006, Inner Worlds Outside, traveling exhibition, Sala de Exposiciones de la Fundacíon "La Caixa," Madrid; WhiteChapel Gallery, London; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

1999, Art spirite, médiumnique et visionnaire, messages d'outre monde, Halle Saint Pierre, Paris

Selected Collections

Collection abcd, Halle Saint Pierre, Paris
Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne
Collection Eternod-Mermod, Lille

Selected Bibliography

Peiry, Lucienne, and Sarah Lombardi, Collection de l'Art Brut, Collection de l'Art Brut & Skira-Flammarion, Paris, 2012.

Safarova, Barbara, "Die Spiritistischen Produktionen in der Collection abcd," The Message. Kunst und Okkultismus. Art and Occultism, Kunstmuseum Bochum & Verlag der Buchhandlung Walter König, Cologne, 2007.

Inner Worlds Outside, exhibition catalogue, Fundacíon "La Caixa," WhiteChapel Gallery, Irish Museum of Modern Art & Ediciones El Viso, Madrid, 2006.

L'Art BrutFascicule 1, Compagnie de l'Art Brut, Paris, 1964.

"Interview with Bruno Decharme," Art Brut, Collection abcd, eds. Barbara Safarova & Terezie Zemankova, Collection abcd, Paris.

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