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Definition: Dubuffet, Jean from Philip's Encyclopedia

French painter and sculptor. His best-known works are assemblages of materials (such as glass, sand, rope) arranged into crude shapes, called pâtes. He collected the work of untrained artists, coining the phrase art brut.


Summary Article: Dubuffet, Jean
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(zhäN dübüfā'), 1901–85, French painter and sculptor. Rejecting academic art training, Dubuffet divided his time during the 1920s and 30s between art and the wine business. In 1942 he turned solely to his artistic career. He created primitive, childlike, and humorous effects savagely opposed to established taste. For many works he prepared a thick impasto of materials such as asphalt, pebbles, and glass to enrich the surface texture of his paintings. Among his later works are numerous large, white, crudely representational sculptures with heavily outlined colored edges and facets. The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, has Dubuffet's Cow with the Subtile Nose and Beard of Uncertain Returns in its collection. Dubuffet also championed what he called art brut [Fr.,=raw, or crude, art], works of art by the insane and others outside the mainstream of the art world that he believed were authentically creative. He established a large collection of these, and contributed to the later recognition of outsider art.

  • See studies by P. Selz (1962) and M. Loreau (tr. 1973);.
  • Rousseau, V. et al., Art Brut in America (museum catalog, 2016).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

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