Nedjar, Michel

Photo: Jeanne Hilary/Rapho

Education: left school at age 14 to apprentice in dressmaking

Profession/occupation: artist

Art form/medium: dolls and painting, film actor and director

Start artwork: 1975, after world wide travelling for 18 months

(Solo-) exhibitions: Michel Nedjar. Trauerränder / Les ongles en deuil / Mourning Nails, 1995-96 Berlin, Bielefeld, Mannheim, Recklinghausen, Zwolle. Animo.! Michel Nedjar, 2008 Museum Gugging.

Monograph: Feilacher, Johann; Michel Nedjar. Animo.!, Gugging 2008. Zander, Susanne, Hrsg.; Michel Nedjar. Trauerränder / Les ongles en deuil / Mourning Nails, Köln 1995.

lit: Outsider Art Sourcebook, (Raw Vision) 2016, p.166 / 2009, p.123.
Sous le vent de l’art brut 2. Collection De Stadshof, 2014, Catalogue Halle Saint Pierre, Paris.
Smolders, Frans e.a.; Solitary Creations. 51 Artists out of De Stadshof Collection, 2014.

As an adolescent, Michel Nedjar became aware of his background, with the burden of the Holocaust, and his inevitable mortality. From 1970 to 1975 he made several long trips, travelling to Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. He incorporated the folk traditions and burial rites he encountered there into dolls, fetish objects made of rags, bones, feathers and all kinds of litter. Rags mean a lot to Nedjar, because they have witnessed past lives. They are remnants of those lives, melancholic and hopeful at the same time. Since 1980 Nedjar has been painting on recycled paper and card. His work has an ancient, earthy and archetypal quality, made more intense by his use of materials and unpolished painting technique.


Michel Nedjar
1947 Soisy-sous-Montmorency, France -