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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52576
Doc. No:TL22530
Call number:‭3411195‬
Main Entry:Andrea Nicole Maier
Title & Author:Dubuffet's decadeAndrea Nicole Maier
College:University of California, Berkeley
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:540
Abstract:Deliberately simple, resolutely material, often ironic and always iconoclastic: this is the image we have of Jean Dubuffet and his painting. It is an image molded by the artist himself in his lifetime, in many deafening statements, and has been hardly edited since. It is also an incomplete and inaccurate image, one this dissertation modifies. Examining the series of paintings that the French artist produced in his first, prolific decade of steady activity, from 1943 to 1952, this thesis analyzes Dubuffet's production in terms he did not dictate. The paintings' complex, innovative material is given due weight, but so is their content. Dubuffet's avowals of simplicity and iconoclasm are complicated by his engagement with traditions of art history and with contemporary intellectual, political and cultural positions. The artist's convincing critique of his culture was not that of an outsider; his work was not simply anti-cultural. His decade also belonged to Simone de Beauvoir, Clement Greenberg, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean Paulhan and Jackson Pollock, and these figures, among others, played significant roles in Dubuffet's painting. Seven chapters treat the major paintings of the decade chronologically. Drawing on contemporary theories and history, as well as Dubuffet's biography, letters and statements, each chapter offers a new exploration of the painter's philosophy and the period's issues: the early nudes reveal the sway of children's art; topographical views and written messages tackle notions of time and history; the thickest paintings link matters of medium, money, luxury and waste; the portraits are shaped by the literary theories of Paulhan, whose ideas are altered in return; depictions of Algeria amend the Orientalist tradition; nudes engage contemporary feminist and anthropological theories; and Dubuffet's final, abstracting series affirm, then contest, the rising artistic power of New York. By the end of this thesis, the image of Dubuffet and his work that emerges is no longer the portrait of the artist that he drafted, largely upheld by critics and historians. The Jean Dubuffet who is reconstructed from the record was complicated, materialist in more than his medium, knowingly incongruous and provocatively engaged with his decade and his traditions.
Subject:Communication and the arts; Dubuffet, Jean; Matisse, Pierre; French postwar art; Paulhan, Jean; France; Art history; 0377:Art history
Added Entry:T. J. Clark
Added Entry:University of California, Berkeley