Dubuffet, Jean

Dubuffet, Jean Biography

French avant-garde painter, born in Le Havre. Dubuffet took over his father's wine business in 1925, and withdrew from the art world. Dubuffet stayed in the wine business until 1942, when he returned to painting, having developed a distinctive style of simple, primitive images in a heavily encrusted canvas. This style helped Dubuffet gain a worldwide reputation. Fascinated by the art of children and the insane, for which he coined the term art brut ("raw art"), he emulated its crude, violent energy in his own work. Critics soon applied the term art brut to Dubuffet's oil paintings, rather than to their stylistic source as he had intended. In all of his work the violence is tempered with elements of vitality and broad humor.

During the 1960s Dubuffet experimented with musical composition and the creation of architectural environments. In various graphic and sculptural mediums he continued to explore the potentials of art brut.

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