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Jean Dubuffet

Jean Dubuffet

20 October 2012 — 3 February 2013

The first solo review in a UK public gallery for nearly 50 years of the work of the influential artist Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. The exhibition has been organised with the assistance of the Fondation Dubuffet, Paris and will feature key paintings, drawings and sculpture from collections across France and the UK.

Born into a bourgeois family in Le Havre, Northern France in 1901, Jean Dubuffet was to become one of the most radical artists of the post-war era. He was violently opposed to the classical ideal promoted in western culture and is best known to many as the champion of self-taught artists. A prolific painter, sculptor and writer, in his own work Dubuffet refused to conform to one style, working instead through successive cycles which demonstrated his unorthodox approach to materials and technique.

In 1945 Dubuffet coined the term Art Brut. This referred to his concept of an alternative creativity, which he recognised as "completely pure, raw ... (and) ... invented in all of its phases by the artist, from his impulses alone". He amassed a vast collection of works made by psychiatric patients, prisoners and marginalised individuals, whose visionary freedom opened up new possibilities in his own practice.

The exhibition explores the evolution of Dubuffet's most inventive series ‘L'Hourloupe' (1962 - 1974), which developed under a period of intense engagement with the Art Brut collection. It includes examples from the preceding cycles ‘Célébration du Sol' (Celebration of the Earth) and ‘Paris Circus' and follows the transition into the hard-edged, modular schematic of the ‘Hourloupe' cycle.

Jean Dubuffet: Transitions Supporters

Jean Dubuffet Supporters’ Circle, Franck and Catherine Petitgas,  
Eykyn Maclean,  Annoushka