|Birth Day:||July 31, 1901|
|Death Date:||May 12, 1985 (age 83)|
As per our current Database, Jean Dubuffet died on May 12, 1985 (age 83).
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
He studied painting at the Academie Julian in Paris.
Dubuffet was born in Le Havre to a family of wholesale wine merchants who were part of the wealthy bourgeoisie. His childhood friends included the writers Raymond Queneau and Georges Limbour. He moved to Paris in 1918 to study painting at the Académie Julian, becoming close friends with the artists Juan Gris, André Masson, and Fernand Léger. Six months later, upon finding academic training to be distasteful, he left the Académie to study independently. During this time, Dubuffet developed many other interests, including free noise music, poetry, and the study of ancient and modern languages. Dubuffet also traveled to Italy and Brazil, and upon returning to Le Havre in 1925, he married for the first time and went on to start a small wine business in Paris. He took up painting again in 1934 when he made a large series of portraits in which he emphasized the vogues in art history. But again he stopped, developing his wine business at Bercy during the German Occupation of France. Years later, in an autobiographical text, he boasted about having made substantial profits by supplying wine to the Wehrmacht.
In 1942, Dubuffet decided to devote himself again to art. He often chose subjects for his works from everyday life, such as people sitting in the Paris Métro or walking in the country. Dubuffet painted with strong, unbroken colors, recalling the palette of Fauvism, as well as the Brucke painters, with their juxtaposing and discordant patches of color. Many of his works featured an individual or individuals placed in a very cramped space, which had a distinct psychological impact on viewers. In 1943, the writer George Limbour, a friend of Dubuffet from childhood, took Jean Paulhan to the artist's studio. Dubuffet's work at that time was unknown. Paulhan was impressed and the meeting proved to be a turning point for Dubuffet. His first solo show came in October 1944, at the Galerie Rene Drouin in Paris. This marked Dubuffet's third attempt to become an established artist.
In 1945, Dubuffet attended and was strongly impressed by a show in Paris of Jean Fautrier's paintings in which he recognized meaningful art which expressed directly and purely the depth of a person. Emulating Fautrier, Dubuffet started to use thick oil paint mixed with materials such as mud, sand, coal dust, pebbles, pieces of glass, string, straw, plaster, gravel, cement, and tar. This allowed him to abandon the traditional method of applying oil paint to canvas with a brush; instead, Dubuffet created a paste into which he could create physical marks, such as scratches and slash marks. The impasto technique of mixing and applying paint was best manifested in Dubuffet's series 'Hautes Pâtes' or Thick Impastoes, which he exhibited at his second major exhibition, entitled Microbolus Macadam & Cie/Hautes Pates in 1946 at the Galérie René Drouin. His use of crude materials and the irony that he infused into many of his works incited a significant amount of backlash from critics, who accused Dubuffet of 'anarchy' and 'scraping the dustbin'. He did receive some positive feedback as well—Clement Greenberg took notice of Dubuffet's work and wrote that '[f]rom a distance, Dubuffet seems the most original painter to have come out of the School of Paris since Miro...' Greenberg went on to say that 'Dubuffet is perhaps the one new painter of real importance to have appeared on the scene in Paris in the last decade.' Indeed, Dubuffet was very prolific in the United States in the year following his first exhibition in New York (1951).
After 1946, Dubuffet started a series of portraits, with his own friends Henri Michaux, Francis Ponge, George Limbour, Jean Paulhan and Pierre Matisse serving as 'models'. He painted these portraits in the same thick materials, and in a manner deliberately anti-psychological and anti-personal, as Dubuffet expressed himself. A few years later he approached the surrealist group in 1948, then the College of Pataphysique in 1954. He was friendly with the French playwright, actor and theater director Antonin Artaud, he admired and supported the writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline and was strongly connected with the artistic circle around the surrealist André Masson. In 1944 he started an important relationship with the resistance-fighter and French writer, publisher, Jean Paulhan who was also strongly fighting against 'intellectual terrorism', as he called it.
Dubuffet achieved very rapid success in the American art market, largely due to his inclusion in the Pierre Matisse exhibition in 1946. His association with Matisse proved to be very beneficial. Matisse was a very influential dealer of contemporary European Art in America, and was known for strongly supporting the School of Paris artists. Dubuffet's work was placed among the likes of Picasso, Braque, and Rouault at the gallery exhibit, and he was only one of two young artists to be honored in this manner. A Newsweek article dubbed Dubuffet as the 'darling of Parisian avant-garde circles,' and Greenberg wrote positively about Dubuffet's three canvasses in a review of the exhibit. In 1947, Dubuffet had his first solo exhibition in America, in the same gallery as the Matisse exhibition. Reviews were largely favorable, and this resulted in Dubuffet having at least an annual, if not a biannual exhibition at that gallery.
Between 1947 and 1949, Dubuffet took three separate trips to Algeria—a French colony at the time—in order to find further artistic inspiration. In this sense, Dubuffet is very similar to other artists such as Delacroix, Matisse, and Fromentin. However, the art that Dubuffet produced while he was there was very specific insofar as it recalled Post-War French ethnography in light of decolonization. Dubuffet was fascinated by the nomadic nature of the tribes in Algeria—he admired the ephemeral quality of their existence, in that they did not stay in any one particular area for long, and were constantly shifting. The impermanence of this kind of movement attracted Dubuffet and became a facet of Art Brut. In June 1948, Dubuffet, along with Jean Paulhan, Andre Breton, Charles Ratton, Michel Tapie, and Henri-Pierre Roche, officially established La Compagnie de l'art brut in Paris. This association was dedicated to the discovery, documentation and exhibition of art brut. Dubuffet later amassed his own collection of such art, including artists such as Aloïse Corbaz and Adolf Wölfli. This collection is now housed at the Collection de l'art brut in Lausanne, Switzerland. His Art Brut collection is often referred to as a 'museum without walls,' as it transcended national and ethnic boundaries, and effectively broke down barriers between nationalities and cultures.
From 1962 he produced a series of works in which he limited himself to the colours red, white, black, and blue. Towards the end of the 1960s he turned increasingly to sculpture, producing works in polystyrene which he then painted with vinyl paint.
In late 1960–1961, Dubuffet began experimenting with music and sound and made several recordings with the Danish painter Asger Jorn, a founding member of the avant-garde movement COBRA. The same period he started making sculpture, but in a very not-sculptural way. As his medium he preferred to use the ordinary materials as papier-mâché and for all the light medium polystyrene, in which he could model very fast and switch easily from one work to another, as sketches on paper. At the end of the 1960s he started to create his large sculpture-habitations, such as 'Tour aux figures', 'Jardin d'Hiver' and 'Villa Falbala' in which people can wander, stay, and contemplate. In 1969 ensued an acquaintance between him and the French Outsider Art artist Jacques Soisson.
In 1978 Dubuffet collaborated with American composer and musician Jasun Martz to create the record album artwork for Martz's avant-garde symphony entitled The Pillory. The much written about drawing has been reproduced internationally in three different editions on tens-of-thousands of record albums and compact discs. A detail of the drawing is also featured on Martz's second symphony (2005), The Pillory/The Battle, performed by The Intercontinental Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Choir.
Dubuffet died from emphysema in Paris on May 12, 1985.
In June 2019, Christie's set an auction record for the artists work Cérémonie (Ceremony), sold for a $11.1million
Currently, Jean Dubuffet is 120 years, 1 months and 26 days old. Jean Dubuffet will celebrate 121st birthday on a Sunday 31st of July 2022.
Find out about Jean Dubuffet birthday activities in timeline view here.