Art Brut  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Art Brut is an informal art genre, commonly known as outsider art. The term (meaning raw art) was coined by French painter Jean Dubuffet for the art of the insane. Dubuffet became fascinated by the paintings of people institutionalized with schizophrenia such as Adolf Wölfli, Heinrich Anton Muller and Aloïse Corbaz.

As the Incorrect Music Hour defines it, "A true "incorrect" artist must be sincere and lack self-awareness. A severe irony deficiency helps. Any humorous overtones to their work must be unintentional."

A certain overlap and confusion with folk art, naive art and outsider art is common. The distinction between these genres might be described thus:

  • Art brut: The art of the clinically insane, especially painting and drawing.
  • Folk art: The art of the ignorant; that is, those unfamiliar with the History of painting and without aspirations to being fine art.
  • Naive art, outsider art: More politically correct terms that gather together both of the above.

What they share is the capacity to be patronizingly celebrated as somehow more free and original than the fine art found in galleries and traditions, being free of The Anxiety of Influence.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Art Brut" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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