“I aim for an art that is directly plugged into our current life” – Jean Dubuffet
An artist I have been aware of for most of my life, Brutal Beauty, an exhibition of Jean Dubuffet at the Barbican, was an unexpected joy to visit. There was a strong current of energy running from the work through to me which surprised with its intensity.
Dubuffet drew inspiration from the fabric of the street – see the “Messages” (1944) above and illustrations for Les Murs (The Walls) by Eugène Guillevic.
Coming to art relatively late and not formally trained, he created a range of portraits in 1947, all drawn from memory and aiming to convey the inner character rather than just the outer appearance.
Well-known for collecting “outsider” art and taking inspiration from what he found, he wanted to capture the chaos and vitality of contemporary life.
See how the cars have been drawn.
Developed from an initial doodle in the 1960s, Hourloupe was a project developed on many fronts for about 12 years.
You can see the influence on Jean-Michel Basquiat amongst other artists particularly in this piece from the Theatres of Memory series.