Thursday, 3 August 2017

The Outsider Painter –– Jean Dubuffet

Fig.1 Jean Dubuffet: Personnage hilare (Portrait de Francis Ponge), 1947,
oil on plaster on cardboard, 60.5 x 45.5 cm, collection Stedelijk Museum
Amsterdam, donation of the artist

A forerunner of the art informel movement and an advocate of art brut (or raw art) who expressed a strong interest in the art of children, the mentally ill and primeval cultures, French painter Jean Dubuffet has had a major impact on the international art world. This summer two art museums in Amsterdam are simultaneously holding exhibitions on Dubuffet, a painter who is crucial in tracing the history of 20th century art.

Impasto Paintings
The Stedelijk Museum is showing Dubuffet’s paintings and lithographs from the 1950s. During this period Dubuffet was attempting to develop new textures in his paintings. He created his own unique textures by applying paints so thickly that they imparted a strong presence in themselves and then mixing in materials not normally used such as dirt, asphalt and bits of glass. In the Portrait of Francis Ponge (fig.1), Dubuffet used plaster.

Fig.2 Monument au fantôme (1969–1971) Fondation Dubuffet, Paris. ©2017
Fondation Dubuffet, Paris / Pictoright, Netherlands. Photo Johannes Schwartz
Graphic Outdoor Sculptures
Dubuffet’s works from the 1960s into the mid-1970s were often filled with patterns that are bordered with strong contour lines. His colors gradually became more organized to have a graphic effect. Around 1970 he made sculptures that looked as if they had jumped out of the patterns in his paintings (fig.2) and large-scale outdoor sculptures. Twelve of these are displayed in the Rijksmuseum Gardens.
The two exhibitions offer an opportunity to discover from various viewpoints the world of Dubuffet’s creations, built from his power of expression and unique sense of humor that broke the conventions of established art.

Jean Dubuffet –– The Deep End Until 2018, Jan. 6 (open daily)
Dubuffet in the Rijksmuseum Gardens Until 2017 Oct. 1 (open daily)

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Museumplein 10
1071 DJ Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Opening times:
Mon to Sun 10:00-18:00 (Friday until 10 pm)

Museumstraat 1
1071 CJ Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Opening times:
Open daily 9:00-17:00