PATHFINDER ON ART BRUT
by Michelene Orteza
July 17, 2008
Definition: Art brut, literally "raw art," is a term coined by the French painter Jean Dubuffet to describe works by untutored artists, often children and mental patients. (Similar terms in English are "outsider art" and "grass-roots art.") Dubuffet founded the Compagnie de l'Art Brut in 1948 along with André Breton and Michel Tapié; the organization lasted only three years. Throughout his life Dubuffet collected art brut works and bequeathed them to the city of Lausanne, where they are on permanent display.
Encyclopedias and Dictionaries:
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms
Encyclopedia of Aesthetics
Grove Art Online
The Oxford Companion to Western Art
Sample LC Subject Headings:
Art and mental illness
Primitivism in art
A Selection of Artists:
Gaston Chaissac; painter, draftsman, sculptor, writer; France (1904-1964)
Jean Dubuffet; painter, sculptor, writer; France (1901-1985)
Louis Soutter; draftsman, painter; Switzerland (1871-1942)
Adolf Wölfli; artist, writer, musician; Switzerland (1864-1930)
Recent Exhibition Catalogs:
Dubuffet, Jean. Dubuffet & l'art brut. Milan, 2005.
Tuchman, Maurice, and Carol Eliel, eds. Parallel Visions: Modern Artists and Outsider Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1992.
Wilson, S. Gaston Chaissac, 1910–1964. London: Fischer, 1986.
Recent Catalogues Raisonnés:
Soutter, Louis. Louis Soutter: crayon, plume, & encre de Chine. Lausanne: Héron, 2002.
Webel, Sophie. L'ouevre grave et les livres illustrés par Jean Dubuffet. Paris: B. Lebon, 1991.
Peiry, Lucienne. Art brut: The Origins of Outsider Art. Paris: Flammarion, 2001.
Rexer, Lyle. How to Look at Outsider Art. New York: Abrams, 2005.
Weiss, A.S. Shattered Forms: Art brut, Phantasms, Modernism. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992.
Relevant Internet Sites:
International magazine of art brut, outsider art, and contemporary folk art; links to art books, galleries, and artists.
Website of the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago; includes images of works on exhibit, listing of events, and the online catalog for their reference library