Paris Post War: Art and Existentialism 1945-55

'I have a great interest in madness, and I am convinced art has much to do with madness,' said Jean Dubuffet - in the surprisingly fluent English he taught himself on the ship coming over from France - to a Chicago audience this winter. A visit to the Paris apartment of this painter, whose growing reputation is one of the few to emerge from post-war Europe, would demonstrate Dubuffet's interest and conviction, for sculptures and pictures by the insane are as apt to be hanging on the walls as his own heavy, shocking paintings. But trips to Dubuffet's neat, whitewashed New York studio, just off the Bowery, where he worked from last fall until this spring, tend to demonstrate an even greater interest in method - in the mobile, 'living' materials with which he builds his landscapes, still-lifes and figures. The materials become the picture, not

only in both literal meanings of the verb, but also conceptually, and even ethically.

From 'Dubuffet Paints a Picture' by Thomas B Hess, in Art News (New York) May 1952

Paris Post War: Art and Existentialism 1945-55 at the Tate Gallery until 5 September.

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