Graphic works by Jean Dubuffet from the first phase of his career
Parmentier, Susan Lynn
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Jean Dubuffet's prolific forty-three years can be divided into two phases. The first, classified generally as "L'Art Brut," was a vigorous confrontation of the materials of art and the artist's relationship to them. The second, known as the "Grand Hourloupe," is an obsessive exploration of a very artificial design that began as a black-and-white line drawing. Dubuffet's art stems from a rejection of Western culture, although he was trained in Paris between 1918 and 1922, in that very culture. In its place Dubuffet focused on the common man whom he took to be more fresh and spontaneous than art bred from culture. He sought out "raw art" or art made by those outside formal culture. While he emulated this art, to produce similar art, Dubuffet had to purge himself of years- of education. For him, this meant an intense investigation of the physical matter that concerned the artist. This took place between 1943 and 1960. At the commencement and conclusion of this period, he produced significant bodies of lithographs, the study of which enlightens understanding of the entire phase. Upon the exhaustion of the first phase, the artist was free to explore the very original "Hourloupe" design, the art for which he is most readily identified today.