Jean Dubuffet

Image not available
Jean Dubuffet
Clairvoyant Beard (Barbe de Voyance)
Paper collage and ink
20 x 13 3/8 inches (51 x 34 cm)
Gift of the Kasper Collection.

A leading figure of the postwar European avant-garde, Dubuffet was a prolific and highly inventive draftsman, whose work was fueled by his love of experimentation and his interest in the art of the untrained -- for which he coined the term art brut. In 1959, after a friend compared him to an ancient Stoic philosopher, Dubuffet began sketching antique bearded figures, eventually creating a series of twenty drawings of beards such as the present one. At once comic and solemn, these monumental figures oscillate between articulated puppets and antique philosophers or biblical prophets. They also mark the culmination of Dubuffet's fascination with matter and texture, which he developed in numerous abstract paintings and drawings throughout the 1950s. To make Clairvoyant Beard, Dubuffet applied ink in different patterns on several sheets of paper, which he then tore up and recomposed against a heavily inked background surface, relying on the torn edges to heighten the physicality of the figure.


Signed and dated in black ink at lower center, J. Dubuffet 59.

Herbert Kasper (1926-2000).
Artist page: