Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) was a French painter and sculptor best known for founding the Art Brut, a movement which embraced outsider art.
Dubuffet was born into a bourgeois family and studied briefly at the Académie Julian in Paris, but he began making art seriously at age 41, after time in the army and a career as a wine merchant. Dubuffet became influential in postwar art with a practice spanning poetry and theoretical texts, jazz, performance art, and experimentations in various materials and techniques. He employed materials such as cement, sand. plaster, tar, and straw in his work.
Art Brut (or “raw art”) is what Dubuffet called outsider art produced by children, outsider and folk artists, and the mentally ill. In his view, this art originated from unrefined and "pure and authentic creative impulses." This embrace of "low art" is reflected in his use of unorthodox materials and rejection of artistic traditions. Later in his career, in the 1960s, Dubuffet produced a series of paintings that resemble jigsaw puzzles in which tiny figures are enclosed in spaces.
Dubuffet exhibited at Schloß Morsbroich (now Museum Morsbroich) in Germany, Musée des arts décoratifs in Paris, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Art Institute of Chicago, Palazzo Grassi in Venice, Tate Gallery in London, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. His works can be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.