Jean Dubuffet

Jean Dubuffet

In 1947, French artist Jean Dubuffet coined the term “art brut” to reference the raw creativity he identified in the work of self-taught practitioners outside the institutions of modern art. Along with other artists including surrealist André Breton, Dubuffet created the Compagnie de l’Art Brut, a movement which touted authentic self-expression outside the bounds of academia. The artist was born in Le Havre in 1901 and moved to Paris in 1918 to study painting at the Académie Julian. Dubuffet soon left the school, however, and joined a community of artists with Juan Gris, Fernand Léger, and André Masson. Dubuffet’s work was also associated with the School of Paris artists, and his paintings and sculptures were often showcased alongside those of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. American art critic Clement Greenberg was a champion of Dubuffet’s works, and the artist exhibited extensively in the United States, greatly influencing the New York School of artists. Dubuffet remained in Paris until his death in 1985. He showed at many important international venues including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Palazzo Grassi, Venice; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

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