Jean Dubuffet



"Personally, I believe very much in values of savagery; I mean: instinct, passion, mood, violence, madness." -- Jean Dubuffet, 1951



Dubuffet is regarded as one of the most famous French painters and sculptors of the second half of the 20th century. Born in 1901 in Le Havre, he moved to Paris in 1918 to study painting at the Académie Julian, but after just six months he left the Académie to study independently. He purposefully remained distant from Parisian art society and explored many other vocational and recreational options instead. He even gave up painting for about ten years, working as an industrial draftsman and later in the family wine business.

Dubuffet did not return to a full-time art career until the early 1940s and had his first solo exhibition in 1944 at the Galerie René Drouin in Paris. His return to painting was accompanied by a passion for 'primitive' and naive art forms, as well as for paintings made by the psychologically disturbed. By 1945 he had started to collect so called 'ugly art' or Art Brut, and in 1948 he founded a society to promote this type of work.

Dubuffet’s painting style, which he called Art Brut (raw art), was contrary to everything expected of a painter in the French tradition and dealt a serious blow to the usual aesthetic assumptions.


- Exhibition 2007