17th Annual Virginia and Ira Jackson Lecture: "Soul of the Underground: The Art of Jean Dubuffet"
French artist Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985), whose practice was shaped by a rebellious attitude toward prevailing notions of high culture, beauty and good taste, was a relentless innovator who worked fluidly between mediums from painting and drawing to printmaking and large-scale outdoor sculpture. In the politically charged milieu of postwar Paris, as artists and poets struggled to create amid physical and societal wreckage, Dubuffet explored new artistic strategies. He turned his attention to quotidian subjects that were often ignored or disparaged; experimented with nontraditional materials including gravel, foliage and tapioca; and commenced a cycle of dissolution and reconstitution in which he made work, cut it apart and reordered it into new compositions.
Sarah Suzuki shows that through these efforts, Dubuffet not only battled to create a new art, but also sought a new vision for a changed world. A reception follows the lecture.