Art Brut

art brut

The Art Brut definition is “raw art” in French and refers to art that is naïve, primitive, or even crude in style created by artists outside of the academic tradition of fine art and is also known as Outsider Art.

art brut history

Jean Dubuffet, who invented the term Art Brut in the 1940s, defined Art Brut as including art made by mentally ill patients, graffiti artists, children, spiritualists, convicts, and primitive artists.

outsider art

Artworks made by those with uninhibited or fragile mental states inspired Jean Dubuffet in creating the Art Brut movement, and in doing so helped to dissolve the stigma surrounding mental illness.

jean dubuffet

Jean Dubuffet found that academic training overshadowed fine art and restricted it from flowing freely. By abandoning tradition and society’s values, Art Brut aimed to create works that did not conform to other movements.

Famous brut artists and their artworks

henri rousseau (1844 – 1910)

Henri Rousseau was a self-taught French artist who came to play an important part in naïve art. Modern artists saw in his work the beauty of simplicity.

The Dream (1910)  Henri Rousseau

alfred wallis (1855-1942)

Alfred Wallis was a self-taught British artist who painted seascapes and shipping scenes in an expressive manner using multiple perspectives. A fisherman and mariner, Wallis only started painting when he was 70 years old.

Houses at St Ives, Cornwall (c.1928 – 1933)  Alfred Wallis

grandma moses (1860-1961)

Romantic, and playful, busy scenes of people going about their day dominate her landscapes. Grandma Moses was self-taught and worked alone.

Sugaring Off (1943)  Grandma Moses

niko pirosmani (1862-1918)

Niko Pirosmani was a self-taught artist from Georgia and through his art, documented the lifestyle, culture, traditions, environments, and customs native to this developing country.

Portrait of Ilya Zdanevich (1913)  Niko Pirosmani