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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Jean Dubuffet

(1901 - 1985), France

Jean Dubuffet was a radical painter, printmaker and sculptor, determined to break down many of the barriers between high and low art in his search for the authentic or genuine. Dubuffet explored unusual materials in his innovative visual practice and tirelessly promoted art brut (outsider art). Highly influential as a writer on peripheral forms of art-making, Dubuffet generated considerable interest in untutored art practices hitherto considered repulsive, childlike, medically therapeutic or for prison inmates, opening up new fields of research into image production and eventually new markets—a development he would later parody. Yet for all his success and influence in the art world, he came to his artistic practice late in life—in his early 40s. Up until then he ran a wholesale wine business.

Regarding clumsy paint application, inaccurate draughtsmanship and muddy, disturbingly faecal-like textures—created by mixing oil paint with sand, tar and straw, and embedding detritus—as positive attributes, Dubuffet's ideas were very unusual, though often not entirely new. They grew out of his dislike of meticulous craftsmanship and refined intellectualism, an interest in children's art and a wish that his works look worn, scratched and battered. He despised the precious and exalted. He saw the unrestrained, raw, instinctive and violent as positive, valuable and oddly innocent. He was also attracted to the work of Dr Hans Prinzhorn, who studied the art of the mentally ill.

An inveterate exhibition-maker popular in North America and Europe, Dubuffet championed anti-bourgeoisie, anti-academy culture and non-professionalism with several styles, though he is best known for using red and blue, and compressed, organic, wobbly shapes on polystyrene. Later in his career he worked in fibreglass and resin in black and white. For most of his career, he concentrated on portraits of ordinary people, farm animals and mundane household objects.

From 1946 on, Dubuffet was represented by and showed regularly at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York, where he became unexpectedly popular and maintained a high profile. He was inspired by Algerian tribal art and made several trips to the Sahara.

Dubuffet presented acclaimed exhibitions at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (1960); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1962); Art Institute of Chicago (1962); Palazzo Grassi, Venice (1964); Tate, London (1966); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1966); and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1966). A book of his writings, Prospectus et tous écrits suivants (Prospectus and all subsequent texts), was published in 1967. Retrospectives include: Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen (1957); Akademie der Künste, Berlin (1980); Museum moderner Kunst, Vienna (1980); Josef Haubrich Kunsthalle, Cologne (1981); and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2001).

John Hurrel | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

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Site avec 4 personnages by Jean Dubuffet contemporary artwork Jean DubuffetSite avec 4 personnages, 1981 Acrylic on paper mounted on canvas
50 x 67 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris
Personnage pour Washington Parade 18 mai–décembre 1973 by Jean Dubuffet contemporary artwork Jean DubuffetPersonnage pour Washington Parade 18 mai–décembre 1973, 1973–2008 Polyurethane paint on epoxy resin
224 x 143 x 68 cm
Waddington Custot
Site avec trois personnages by Jean Dubuffet contemporary artwork Jean DubuffetSite avec trois personnages, 1976 Lithograph
27 3/16 x 40 3/16 inches
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris
Personnage au chapeau by Jean Dubuffet contemporary artwork Jean DubuffetPersonnage au chapeau, 1962 Lithograph
66 x 50.5 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris
Quatre personnages by Jean Dubuffet contemporary artwork Jean DubuffetQuatre personnages, 1974 Serigraph
63.5 x 91.5 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris
Personnage au Chapeau by Jean Dubuffet contemporary artwork Jean DubuffetPersonnage au Chapeau, 1962 Lithograph in 6 colours on Arches paper
65.5 x 50.5 cm
Alan Cristea Gallery
Le Facetieux (after maquette dated 20 May-December 1973) by Jean Dubuffet contemporary artwork Jean DubuffetLe Facetieux (after maquette dated 20 May-December 1973), 1973/2014 Polyurethane paint on epoxy
271.1 x 189.9 x 249.9 cm
Pace Gallery
Paysage pétrifié janvier 1952 by Jean Dubuffet contemporary artwork Jean DubuffetPaysage pétrifié janvier 1952, 1952 Oil and mixed media on board
92 x 122 cm
Waddington Custot

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Jean Dubuffet, Estampes at Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris, Paris
Open Now
14 March–11 May 2019 Jean Dubuffet Estampes Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris, 13 Rue de Téhéran
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Robert Fraser’s Groovy Arts Club Band at Gazelli Art House, London
Closed
11 January–23 February 2019 Group Exhibition Robert Fraser’s Groovy Arts Club Band Gazelli Art House, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Muse & Motif at Alan Cristea Gallery, London
Closed
10 January–16 February 2019 Group Exhibition Muse & Motif Alan Cristea Gallery, London

Represented By

In Related Press

Jean Dubuffet at Hauser & Wirth Zurich — madness in the metropolis Related Press Jean Dubuffet at Hauser & Wirth Zurich — madness in the metropolis Financial Times : 14 June 2018

An inscription at the confluence of Zurich's two rivers, the Limmat and the Sihl, asks 'Yssel that the limmat?' before recommending 'legging a jig or so on the sihl'. It's a quotation from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, resonant for a city where art has thrived on exquisite mimicries of insanity: Dada was born here, the anarchic Cabaret Voltaire...

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The art of management: Interview with Jennifer Flay, Director of FIAC 2016 Related Press The art of management: Interview with Jennifer Flay, Director of FIAC 2016 AMA : 18 October 2016

Director of FIAC, Jennifer Flay shares with AMA the spirit of this 43rd edition. AMA: What are the FIAC’s strengths this year?Jennifer Flay: We’re very proud of the creation of On Site, found inside and around the Petit Palais; we’ve given the project this name to distinguish it clearly from the Hors les Murs...

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Frieze Art Fair 2016: The 90s makes a comeback and there's role play in the loos Related Press Frieze Art Fair 2016: The 90s makes a comeback and there's role play in the loos It's Nice That : 7 October 2016

If you visit Regent’s Park over the next few days, the usual squawks and whinnying emanating from London Zoo will be accompanied by animated chirruping and the squeak of air kisses at Frieze Art Fair nearby. As usual, gaggles of well-dressed art aficionados and admirers, collectors, journalists and even the odd celeb or two descend onto...

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In Related Video

Jean Dubuffet: An Urban Imagination Related Video & Audio Jean Dubuffet: An Urban Imagination Hauser & Wirth : 7 June 2018

Curator Dr Sophie Berrebi introduces Jean Dubuffet and the City at Hauser & Wirth Zürich, the first presentation that focuses on exploring the role of the city in Dubuffet's four decades of artistic accomplishments, highlighting the artist's shifting depiction of urban characters, and the visual and experiential dynamism of Paris that...

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