One of the most prolific and influential artists of the 20th century, Jean Dubuffet has featured in a multitude of exhibitions and catalogues. Yet his work remains some of the most misunderstood—and least interrogated—post-war French art. In Jean Dubuffet, Bricoleur: Portraits, Pastiche, Performativity, Stephanie Chadwick re-examines his portraits (a veritable who’s who of the Parisian art and intellectual scene) through the lens of his writings and in tandem with the art and literature of his Surrealist sitters.
Dubuffet, while posing as an outsider himself, mingled with many great artists and theorists. He also celebrated Art Brut (the art of ostensible outsiders), developing an elaborate and nuanced stream of conceptual resources to reconfigure painting and reframe post-war anticultural discourses. This book investigates Dubuffet’s painting as bricolage, uncovering his reliance on a culture of anticulture and the appropriation of motifs from Surrealism to the South Pacific, to explore themes of multivalence, performativity, and multifaceted identity in his portraits.