Raw Beauty

Directed by Herve Nisic

65 minutes / Color
English; French
Release: 2017
Copyright: 2009

In 1906, Dr. Morgenthaler, a psychiatrist at Bern Psychiatric Hospital, started to collect and photograph the drawings, paintings and various objects designed by his patients. This collection of works by schizophrenic artists would later prove an important contribution to art history and the history of "Art Brut" or "Outsider Art": work by artists who have been deemed obsessive, mentally or psychologically ill, or otherwise "abnormal."

Iconic artistic including Jean Tinguely, Paul Klee and Jean Dubuffet were all fascinated by the subtle line between the imaginary and obsession, dreams, pain and illness, these insidious evils that emerge unseen from our unconscious.

Using the Bern hospital Waldau and its collection as a starting point, filmmaker Herve Nisic investigates the history of and ongoing fascination with "Art Brut" artists. Interviewees in RAW BEAUTY include Michel Thevoz, founder of the Art Brut Museum in Lausanne; sculptor Armin Heusser; Adolf-Wolfli-Stiftung curator Daniel Baumann; as well as the artists Bernhard Luginbuhl, Daniel Spoerri and Bernhard Gahl.

Other Ways to Watch

Colleges, Universities, Government Agencies, Hospitals, and Corporations
This title is available for streaming only.

Available for educational streaming from:

Select Accolades

  • 2009 FIFA Montreal International Festival of Films on Art
  • 2009 Solothurner Filmtage Film Festival


A history of "outsider art" or "art brut" spontaneously produced by self-taught creators on the fringes of society.

Arthur Borgnis | 2018 | 80 minutes | Color | French | English subtitles

A powerful portrait of Africa's most widely acclaimed contemporary artist El Anatsui.

Susan Vogel | 2011 | 53 minutes | Color | English

Judith Scott had Down syndrome, was deaf, and did not speak. Then, after 35 years of institutionalization, she created a series of sculptures that have fascinated and mystified art experts around the world.

Betsy Bayha | 2006 | 26 minutes | Color | English

Explores the artist's work and philosophy, using extensive interviews and documentation of artwork installed around the world.

Chris Teerink | 2014 | 72 minutes | Color | Dutch; Italian | English subtitles