Jean Dubuffet (1901 – 1985) sought to replicate the immediacy of the art of the untutored. In this sheet, he incised four figures into a ground of opaque watercolor, exposing the sandpaper he used as a support. The technique shares more with graffiti and the scrawls of children than with academic drawing. The artist once remarked, “When I say ‘draw,’ I’m not to the slightest degree thinking of faithfully reproducing objects . . . No, its a matter of something quite different: to animate the paper, to make it palpitate.”
A bright mosaic of colors imitates the crude style of outsider art in Jean Dubuffet’s Parisian street scene from 1944. In 1923, Dubuffet became interested in the art of the mentally ill, after having read Hans Prinzhorn’s Bildnerei der Geisteskranken (Pictures of the Mentally Ill, 1922). Many years later, in 1945, he started collecting these pictures pictures, which he called Art Brut (Raw Art).
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.