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DUBUFFET 1901-1985

Jean Dubuffet was a French painter and sculptor who was decades before his time. His idealistic approach to aesthetics embraced so called "low art" or known today as “Outsider Art”. Preferring children's art and primitive art forms , he ignored the traditional standards of beauty of the day, in favor of what he believed to be a more authentic and humanistic approach to image-making. He disliked authority from a very early age and rejected the traditional teachings in art schools of the period. Although he was well-educated, he came to reject his studies, preferring to educate himself. He felt that intuitive and base animal instincts, lead to universal harmony, arguing that it was the primal instinct, not intellectual theory or analysis, that connected all living things. He would later be a successful propagandist, gaining notoriety for his attacks on conformism and mainstream culture, which he described as "asphyxiating." He is perhaps best known for founding the art movement “Art Brut”.

In the early 60s, he developed a radically new, graphic style, which he called "Hourloupe," and would deploy it on many important public commissions, but he remains best known for the thick textured and gritty surfaces of his pictures from the 40s and '50s. Dubuffet's Hourloupe style developed from a chance doodle while he was on the telephone. The basis of it was a tangle of clean black lines that forms cells, which are sometimes filled with unmixed color. He believed the style evoked the manner in which objects appear in the mind. This contrast between physical and mental representation later encouraged him to use the approach to create sculpture. Dubuffet enjoyed a prolific art career, both in France and in America, and was featured in many exhibitions throughout his lifetime, and paved the way for many 20th century artists and art movements that evoke his style.