Jean Dubuffet was a French painter and sculptor born in 1901 in the Havre. He studied at the Académie Julian with Suzanne Valadon, Fernand Léger, and Raoul Dufy in 1918 but left after six months.

At the start of the 1940s he returned to art full time. Matière et Mémoire is his first ensemble of lithographs and presents an experimentation of textures through a series of 27 plates in 1944. He founded the Compagnie de l’Art Brut with Slavko Kopek and André Breton amongst others. Dubuffet was the founder of the brutalist art movement. He was fascinated by art produced by children and he incorporated this style in his practice. His work was exhibited at the galerie Drouin with his first major work Les gardes du corps which enabled him subsequently to have an exhibit in New York. Dubuffet’s works are often composed of paintings, collages, and sculptures. One of his emblematic works Coucou bazar was presented for the first time at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1973.

In May 2019, an exhibition of the works of the artist is organized in Venice at the magnificent Palazzo Franchetti with the curators Sophie Webel and Frédéric Jaeger. Works such as Texturologies or Materiologies are exhibited in this space with their tragic undertones, along with the works of the Hourloupe cycle, which offer a perspective on his personal vision of the world and the Mires that represent a sentiment of freedom. His ambivalent relationship with Venice is also present in this exhibit. Dubuffet was picked as the official French representative at the 1984 Biennale where he presented 34 new paintings. The artist had made many donations such as 21 paintings, 7 sculptures and 132 drawings to the musée des arts décoratifs of Paris from his personal collection. He died in 1985 in Paris and the Jean Dubuffet foundation created in 1973 continues to showcase his work.
Jean Dubuffet
Photo Credit : © Paolo Monti