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Art Brut ("raw art") is the term coined by Jean Dubuffet to describe the art practiced by men and women who, for one reason or another, have escaped cultural conditioning and social conformism: inmates of psychiatric hospitals, prisoners, misfits, and outsiders of all kinds.

Drawing entirely on their own resources, they have created original, unclassfiable works, owing nothing to tradition or reigning fashions. Since 1945 Jean Dubuffet and the Compagnie de l'Art Brut, which he founded, have brought together a large collection of such works: these from the basis of this study.

The creations of Adolf Wolfli, Aloise, Laure Pigeon, Heinrich Anton Muller and many other makers of Art Brut display a power of invention which may well be common to all men but which in most of us has been stifled by the cultural machine. That is why these works seem bewildering and yet oddly familiar. The effect they produce is one of "disquieting strangeness", to use Freud's term. Art Brut defies the values, models and categories to which we normally refer in maters of art. It challenges our educational training, our social and psychiatric frames of reference, our ethnocentric and adult-centreed attitudes-in a word, all the repressive forces that go by the name of culture.

Large paperback, 1995, 225, new excellent condition


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