Brutal Beauty champions Dubuffet’s rebellious philosophy. Railing against conventional ideas of beauty, he tried to capture the poetry of everyday life in a gritty, more authentic way. This is the first major survey of his work in the UK for over 50 years, showcasing four decades of his career, from early portraits and fantastical statues, to butterfly assemblages and giant colourful canvases.
Dubuffet endlessly experimented and was clear on his purpose: "Art should always make you laugh a little and fear a little. Anything but bore."
Alongside his own work, the exhibition features works from Dubuffet’s collection of Art Brut (a phrase he coined, which translates literally as ‘raw art’). Acquired throughout his life, these works, and the artists that created them, profoundly impacted his approach to the making and meaning of art.
Jean Dubuffet: Brutal Beauty will be on view at Barbican in London from February 11 to May 23, 2021.