Jean Dubuffet

1901, Le Havre1985, Paris

Jean Phillipe Arthur Dubuffet was born in 1901 in Le Havre, a small coastal town in France. Early on, he seeks to follow the path of art. He took his first art classes at the École des Beaux Arts in Le Havre as early as 1916, and after graduating from high school, he began studying literature, language, music and art at the Académie Julian in Paris. After 6 months Dubuffet drops out to find his own way and develops his oeuvre in the circle of the Surrealists. Dubuffet is enthusiastic about the simple, original art of mentally disadvantaged people and children and he develops a simple understanding of art, which he announces as a writer and coins in 1945 in the term "art brut" equal to anti-intellectual art. Freed from the traditions that weigh on art, he wants to devote himself to something new. Starting from the representational, Dubuffet seeks to create his own and unique pictorial universe. He himself says that he moves between expressionist and caricaturist excess. He frees objects from any individuality and identifiable codes. In the 50s Dubuffet gains international recognition and is exhibited in the USA, London and also Germany. From 1959 he participated three times in a row in the Documenta in Kassel. Many of his works are in international museums. During his lifetime, he donated large complexes of works to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In 1973, he himself founded the Fondation Dubuffet, which today looks after his estate of over 2500 works.

Selected Exhibitions