Jean Dubuffet 1901-1985 (France)

Have you ever wanted to go into someone’s head and see what they’re thinking? This is one of those times in which I would just love to do so. I have to be totally honest—as I was seeing some of Dubuffet’s work, I was either loving it or staring at his art for 10 minutes in confusion. Some of his pieces are so weird (in a good way) and unique that I honestly can’t look away from them.

Dubuffet was a painter and sculptor who was best known for founding the art movement known as the Art Brut and it was his collection of works called Collection de l’art brut that really started this movement. He featured in many exhibitions and was well-known in both France and America. He often chose his subjects for his artwork randomly from everyday life and often placed them in very cramped spaces while painting them in colors that resembled the Fauvism art period. When Dubuffet attended Jean Fautrier’s show in Paris in 1945, he was really impressed with his work in such a way that he started using thick oil paint mixed with a variety of materials (such as mud, sand, coal dust, pebbles, pieces of glass, string, straw, plaster, gravel, cement, and tar). This helped him create a paste in which he could make marks and scratches onto the canvas instead of using a brush to do so. He (like most artists I’ve written about) received much negative criticism from the public because of the materials he was using in his art, but at the same time he also got positive feedback as well. By 1946, (after he was included in the Pierre Matisse exhibition) he started receiving a lot of attention and success in America which helped him gain his solo exhibition in 1947. His reviews were so high that it ultimately gave him an opportunity to have biannual exhibitions in galleries around America. By 1962, Dubuffet started concentrating more on sculpturing and one thing that really surprised me was that he limited his colour palette to red, white, black, and blue in his work starting from then on.

Overall, I just love Dubuffet’s sculptors because I have actually never seen anything like them before and there’s just something about the way he has formed each of them that make you want to stare at them longer. I’m even tempted to go take a selfie…



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