Jean Dubuffet Dispositif aux vaisselles [Dishwasher] Dated 1965 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2023


Born 1901
Died 1985
Nationality French
Birth place Le Havre

Dubuffet was born in Le Havre, the son of a wealthy wine merchant. He studied art in Paris but stopped painting in 1925 to enter the wine trade. Apart from a brief period in 1933, Dubuffet only took up art seriously in 1942. He had his first solo exhibition in 1945, the same year he began to advocate and collect Art Brut (translated as ‘raw art’), a movement that has had a profound effect on art since the 1950s. Dubuffet was inspired to create art in a deliberatively naïve manner, producing work that is diverse and experimental in both material and style.

Glossary terms

Glossary terms

Art Brut

A term used by the French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created spontaneously. He identified this practice among psychiatric patients and children. It is also called 'outsider art'.


Works of art constructed from pre-existing materials as opposed to work that is drawn, painted or carved. A broad term, invented by French artist Jean Dubuffet in the 1950s, it includes collage, sculptural objects and installation art.