Art Brut

Art Brut

‘Art brut’ is a French term coined by artist Jean Dubuffet, denoting ‘raw art’ and encompasses creations like graffiti and naïve art.

Jean Dubuffet rejected the dominance of academic training in fine art, which he termed "art culturel" or cultural art. In his view, "art brut," encompassing graffiti and creations by individuals like the mentally ill, prisoners, children, and primitive artists, represented unbridled expressions of vision and emotions, unconstrained by conventional norms. Dubuffet endeavoured to infuse these qualities into his own artwork, a practice sometimes associated with the term "art brut."

He amassed a substantial collection of art brut and, in 1948, established the Compagnie de l'Art Brut to foster its exploration. His collection is now housed in La Collection de l'Art Brut museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. Another notable collection, under the term "outsider art," is the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection, currently on loan to the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin.

Other words in the glossary

Building your collection? We can help.

Your questions, answered

Parra's studio, with Parra at the centre, his back to the camera as he works on the large painting takes centre stage, showing a faceless blue woman in a striped dress, painted in red, purple, blue and teal. The studio is full of brightly coloured paints, with a large window on the right and a patterned rug across the floor under the painting.