Madness. The Case of Marian Henel, the Lecher from Branice

21 September 2024 – 16 February 2025

Coordinator of the exhibition: Piotr Oszczanowski

The first public presentation of tapestries, photographs and drawings with erotic and psychopathological themes created by an amateur artist who was a long-term patient of the hospital for psychiatric and neuro diseases in Branice, Marian Henel (1926–1993).

The creator of these works was a complex figure, extremely controversial and obscure. However, these pieces, made during sessions of art-therapy, today are recognised world-wide as some of the most outstanding examples of the so-called Art brut, i.e. outsider art of people who are socially excluded. The works which Henel started creating in 1968, at the hospital’s Studio for the Expression of Psychopathological Art, confirm his illness which its root in his uncontrollable libido.

The exhibition was prepared in collaboration with medical staff of the specialist psychiatric hospital in Branice [Specjalistyczny Szpital dla Psychicznie i Nerwowo Chorych im. biskupa Józef Nathan], and Dr Med. Bogusław Habrat from the Centre for Prevention and Treatment of Dependencies at the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw.