Jean Dubuffet ( French, 1901 - 1985 )
In Surrealism, art and literature were closely interwoven, especially in France, where the cultural milieu often produced highly articulate artists. After World War II, Jean Dubuffet, an idiosyncratic writer, painter and polemicist, carried the irrationalism of Surrealism and Dada into a new dimension. While Matisse was glorifying his old age with epic paper collages, Dubuffet was making art that appeared primitive, paradoxical, absurd and extremely witty. He used the mud daubs and graffiti of the modern city in marvelous ways. Almost any shape or material was grist for Dubuffet's iconoclastic mill. In "The Reveler" the human figure is seen as a cheerful and probably drunken jigsaw puzzle; a child's game or scribble becomes sophisticated art. "The Reveler" also seems free and joyous; in his own way Dubuffet expresses as much "joie de vivre" as Matisse.
- Anne R. Bromberg, Dallas Museum of Art: Selected Works (Dallas, TX: Dallas Museum of Art, 1983), 134.
- Museum of Modern Art
Learn more about Dubuffet's rebellious and innovative thinking.