Jean Dubuffet, rue de Vaugirard, ca 1946, Foto © J. Cordier/Archives Fondation Dubuffet, Paris
"True art is never where it is expected to be: in the place where no one considers it, nor names it." (Jean Dubuffet)

In the mid-1940s the creative multi-talent Jean Dubuffet began his search for a new art free from the bourgeois constraints and aesthetic norms of the day. His pursuit of artists whose works were generally not recognised as art was an unprecedented approach and radically questioned the conventions of art at that time.

In his quest for this new art Dubuffet travelled throughout European countries such as Switzerland, Belgium, and France, but also Africa as well, and had works sent to him from places like Brazil. Places where the outsiders in society lived. He was looking for Art Brut: raw, unbiased art. The works that he found were extraordinary – as were the people whose artistic creativity interested him. They were psychiatric patients, children, autodidacts in professions unrelated to art, and makers of folk art (although he would later make a distinction between Art Brut and folk art or that made by children). Doctors and psychiatrists helped him on site in the clinics. Ultimately, it was not the official art world rather social outcasts who would become the protagonists of his concept of art.  

Art by the Gugging Artists has been assigned the title Art Brut since the 1970s. Jean Dubuffet personally recognised them as representatives of this art movement. Their works can be found in the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne and also in many museums and collections of contemporary art around the world as well.

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