Dubuffet and the Art Brut
ARTnews – 2012
“This rich exhibition brought together drawings by Jean Dubuffet and Alfonso Ossorio with works by some of the isolated artists Dubuffet discovered after 1945, highlighting influences, similarities, and differences among the self-taught and the modern.
The phantasmagoric pictures by non-professionals were mostly obsessively and precisely drawn, while the works here by Dubuffet and Ossorio featured hiero-glyphic-style people and animals in loosely rendered layers of paint. In Dubuffet’s Deu Chameaux (1948), for example, the outlines of two scrawled camels were lightly incised with the handle of a brush into an atmospheric field of lavender and pale-blue gouache. And Ossorio’s dense layers of ink, wax, and watercolor coalesce into marvelous hybrids of amoebas and homunculi.
By contrast, Madge Gill, a London nurse, who lived from 1882 to 1961, drew meticulous networks of lacy patterns in black ink. Three drawings here depicted flamboyantly dressed women emerging from fantasic architectural settings with checkerboard floors and curtains that look as if they are reflected in mirrors that never end. Another represented a landscaped formal garden resembling a disheveled Versailees, with multiple avenues of featherlike trees. Buildings also preoccupied the French coal miner Augustin Lesage. Guided by voices in his head, he covered large canvases with complex ceremonial temples, sometimes adorned with giant faces. A smaller image of a meticulously delineated edifice was included in the show. Lining the structure are rows of Egyptian/Art Deco-style ornamental motifs that could be interpreted as figures or vegetation.”
See Dubuffet and the Art Brut Exhibition