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Radical Reconfiguration: Appropriation, Assemblage, and Masked Hybridity in Jean Dubuffet's Postwar Portraits.

Gazing confrontationally yet ambiguously at the viewer, Jean Dubuffet's Portrait of Jean Paulhan (fig. 1) is one of his most enigmatic paintings. One of several portraits of this author, publisher of the Nouvelle Revue Frangaise, and arts patron, it is also one of 150 portraits Dubuffet painted of 22 friends and associates. Dubuffet exhibited many of these portraits, a veritable who's who of the Parisian art and intellectual scene, in 1947 at the Galerie Rene Drouin. (1) A close look at the Portrait of Jean Paulhan provides insights into Dubuffet's postwar figuration and an artistic process he described as "varying and diversifying the painting's surface." (2) Here, I place this painting and other portraits by Dubuffet in dialogue with his writings about art and some of the key cultural discourses on the transformative effects of encountering difference that shaped the postwar era. The devastation of yet another World War, it seemed, called for the radical remaking of art, the human image, and a Western culture that was steeped in the folly of an outdated and bankrupted humanism.

French modernists of the early twentieth century were well known for looking to artistic sources outside art historical canons and to so-called "primitive" art in their efforts to rejuvenate Western painting and culture. Dubuffet was no exception. In Art Brut--the term he coined to describe the raw, untrained art of mental patients, folk artists, and other purported outsiders marginalized by Western culture--Dubuffet believed he had found a truly intuitive source of artistic inspiration.

He argued that this ostensibly naive art was uncorrupted by mainstream European culture, attuned to primal human impulses, and characterized by an inner compulsion to create. "It is only in 'Art Brut' that one finds, I believe, the natural and normal processes of the creation of art in their elementary and pure state," Dubuffet wrote in 1951, adding that "a work of art is interesting, in my opinion, only on the condition that it is a very immediate and direct projection of what happens in the depths of being." (3)

Although Dubuffet resisted the notion of art as a cultural product, his appreciation of art produced outside of academic conventions and belief in a will to form aligned with the ideas of art historian Alois Riegl--ideas upon which art historian and psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn expanded. (4) In his 1922 book Artistry of the Mentally Ill, Prinzhorn elaborated upon the idea of an inner creative impetus that he and other psychiatrists believed they had observed in the art of institutionalized patients. This book--and this idea--had a major impact on European artists, particularly the Surrealists and artists such as Paul Klee, who also influenced Dubuffet. (5) "The pictures in Prinzhorn's book struck me very strongly when I was young," Dubuffet proclaimed in a 1976 interview, adding that "they showed me the way and were a liberating influence." (6) These developments of the interwar era shaped Dubuffet's art and inspired his postwar investigations of Art Brut. They also led Dubuffet to set himself an impossible task: to create art that simultaneously escapes culture, resonates with the viewer, and produces individually and culturally transformative effects.

Despite a history of looking at Art Brut and producing art that resembles it, Dubuffet always maintained that his work "was never directly influenced by Art Brut." (7) His prolific writings on Art Brut and what he took to be the internally driven creativity of authentic art, however, have more than impacted interpretations of Dubuffet's work; they have, until recently, set the parameters of the discourse. As Kent Minturn and Andrea Nicole Maier have shown, contemporaneous art historical allies such as Max Loreau and Hubert Damisch aided Dubuffet in writing the creation myth of his own art history, ever so adeptly alternating between avant-garde and Art Brut representations of his work. (8) Whereas twenty-first century scholars have begun to deconstruct these mythologized portrayals and situate Dubuffet's work within a particular cultural milieu, this paper explores the ways in which the Portrait of Jean Paulhan and other works by Dubuffet suggest his appropriation and assemblage of Art Brut and Oceanic sources. Ultimately, Dubuffet's paradoxical reliance upon a collage aesthetic (a practice that ran counter to his anti-cultural rhetoric) transformed his postwar art.

Although scholarship rather commonly acknowledges that Dubuffet looked to Oceanic art for inspiration, art historians have paid this fact somewhat scant attention. Moreover, discussions of Dubuffet's work in relation to Art Brut have combined with his celebration of it in his prolific writings to mask his reliance upon visual sources like Oceanic masks and other Pacific Island cultural artifacts that began appearing in Surrealist collections during the 1930s. Elizabeth Cowling and Philippe Peltier have demonstrated the extent to which Oceanic artifacts (including masks, sculptures, and paintings) intrigued the Surrealists, drawing particular attention to the impact that stylized bark-cloth paintings had on biomorphic abstraction. (9) Artists investigated Oceanic art at numerous exhibitions and in the studios of Andre Masson and Joan Miro, which Dubuffet wrote of visiting in his youth and which combined to form a nexus of Surrealist activities near his home. (10)

The Portrait of Jean Paulhan and Dubuffet's other renderings considered in this paper echo an array of Oceanic artifacts that appealed to the Surrealists. Seeking to create his own signature style, however, he gravitated toward artifacts that had not been widely appropriated into Surrealist painting. Perhaps Dubuffet's sleight of hand in composing with Oceanic imagery on the cusp of Surrealism accounts for the dearth of discussion about his Oceanic sources. This obfuscation of source hunting was deliberate on Dubuffet's part, cloaking the most fascinating aspects of his process in a myth of originary production. One could also say, in this regard, that the mask played both formal and thematic roles in Dubuffet's portraits.

Dubuffet's adaptation of both Art Brut and Oceanic art forms followed the problematic practice of unacknowledged appropriation. Research conducted by scholars such as Lucienne Peiry and Antonia Dapena-Tretter suggests, moreover, that Dubuffet's methods of collecting were less than equitable with regard to his treatment of Art Brut artists. (11) Even so, I argue, his appropriational process warrants a closer look and, combined with his anti-categorical writings, sheds light on a practice that explores the benefits of artistic and cultural hybridity. Positioning himself against the European tendency to "divide up" everything into discrete, culturally determined categories, Dubuffet asserted instead that experience should be appreciated as "admirably complex" in a world "where all things interpenetrate and are continuous and imbricate one with the other." (12)

A Developing Idiom

Rejecting academic training early on, Dubuffet dropped out of art school to investigate alternative art forms and to explore literature, ethnography, and other pursuits in the company of the Surrealists during the 1920s. Although he managed his family's wine business and proclaimed an affinity for ordinary life during the 1930s, he enjoyed making papier-mache masks and mixed-media puppets. One can see the imprint of such folk forms, his interest in masks, and increased emphasis on "primal" creativity in the painting to which he dedicated himself in the 1940s. At that time, he later reported, he destroyed his preexisting artworks to begin anew--freed, he believed, from the fetters of academic tradition. (13)

In a quest to subvert the humanist culture that had led to the war, Dubuffet and other like-minded artist-agitators (not coincidentally, those he depicted in his portraits) resisted another war-inspired return to order. The post-World War I rappel a I'ordre had been artistically and politically damaging enough, and the writings of Dubuffet's sitters are filled with anti-cultural proclamations of the inter- and postwar eras. (14) With Dubuffet at the forefront, postwar artists subverted "cultured" practices by producing formless, messy, and enigmatic imagery using unconventional materials and techniques. (15) Disrupting ossified viewing habits, according to Dubuffet, his disjunctive imagery might resonate at indeterminate levels of consciousness and instigate awareness of life's "polyphonic" resonances. (16) His art did so, I believe, by producing deep-seated, physiologically experienced, emotional affective responses (be they disdain, mirth, or bewilderment) to create an interplay of dissonances that might resist enculturation. In this way, according to Dubuffet, art could "force the mind out of its usual ruts, carry it off into a world where the mechanisms of habit no longer function, where the blinders of habit fly off, and in such a way that everything seems fraught with new meaning, aswarm with echoes, resonances, overtones." (17)

Dubuffet first adopted the term "assemblage" in 1953 to refer to his mixed media experimentation, including works created by cutting and pasting his prints and paintings. (18) This collage aesthetic was already apparent in his painting of the 1940s, however, and informed his figuration. As Anna Dezeuze points out, the notion of bricolage (tinkering, like a handyman or casual hobbyist, with disparate elements) was circulated by the structural anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, an acquaintance of Dubuffet; it illustrated the dialogue between art, anthropology, and the act of assemblage that continued to inform postwar artistic practices. (19) Using appropriation and an assemblage-like approach to his postwar painting, Dubuffet continued, in his way, to explore the Surrealist-inspired themes of multifaceted identity, multivalence, and performativity--the ability of representation to both reinforce and transform culture. (20) More specifically, Dubuffet's engagement with Oceanic masks, costumes, and sculptures that were less well known to European viewers attests to his ambition to make his own path while exploring the performative dimensions of culture and what James Clifford has described, more broadly, as "cultural collage"--a strategy of ethnographic Surrealism that takes collage as its model. (21)

Jean Paulhan, meanwhile, had dabbled in ethnography since before World War I and the coalescence of Surrealist ethnography. As John Culbert notes, Paulhan studied with sociologist Emile Durkheim and philosopher cum armchair anthropologist Lucien Levy-Bruhl in Paris before beginning his own ethnographically-oriented studies during a 1908-1910 teaching post in Madagascar. (22) Subsequently, he likely discussed Durkheim's and Levy-Bruhl's thoughts on the cultural dimensions of epistemology and culturally diverse modes of thinking with his friend Dubuffet, whose prose would echo such ideas. (Dubuffet's "Anticultural Positions" favors "primitive" over occidental thought processes.) (23)

Paulhan was happy to promote Dubuffet's postwar artistic project; for example, Paulhan introduced Dubuffet at weekly gatherings in the home of the arts patron Florence Gould, where Dubuffet was inspired to paint his portrait series. (24) Paulhan also accompanied Dubuffet to tour Swiss cities in 1945 to search for Art Brut. (25) Along with Surrealist leader Andre Breton, author Henri-Pierre Roche, artist Slavko Kopac, critic Michel Tapie and "primitivist" art dealer Charles Ratton, Paulhan co-founded Dubuffet's Foyer de l'Art Brut in 1947 and Compagnie de l'Art Brut in 1948. All of these men were thus compatriots in creating organizations dedicated to the study and collection of the art they believed to result from internal creative impulses. (26)

Rachel Perry notes the systematic research involved in Dubuffet's collecting of Art Brut and his planned Almanach de l'Art Brut (which he once described as a "cobbling together" of disparate texts and images). (27) The failed journal, it appears, revealed avant la lettre the assemblage approach Dubuffet later applied to his artistic and, as Baptiste Brun rightly observes, ethnographically oriented pursuits. (28) Moreover, despite denying any mimicry of Art Brut, Dubuffet did concede in his 1951 essay "In Honor of Savage Values" that an artist might subconsciously emulate external sources that "he has assimilated ... believing entirely in good faith, that he pulled it [his work] out of his own reserves." (29)

One of the primary ways Dubuffet emulated Art Brut was by modifying his paint into a non-traditional material. Dubuffet described his process as "lay[ing] it on thick" and "learning how to smear," which he accomplished with gestures, rhythms, and "circulatory movements" that are reproduced in the painting as though they are "living things." (30) He worked the canvas horizontally, placing it on a table or the floor and spreading it with his haute pate concoction in a process similar to that of his friend Jean Fautrier (the subject of another of Dubuffet's portraits whose formless yet visceral paintings dealt with wartime trauma and Nazi atrocities he witnessed while hiding in a French mental institution). (31) Dubuffet began his experimentation with thick impasto in earnest in 1946 with his to Mirobolus, Macadam et Cie, Hautes Pates (Mirobolus, Macadam and Co., High Pastes) series. He produced these emphatically material paintings, the immediate precursors to the portraits, with a thick concoction of paint and lowly materials such as dirt and detritus that highlighted the physicality of the paint and the corporeality of the figures. (32) Astounded (or confounded) by the blunt material presence of these works, critics discussed them in terms of mud and merde. (33) The paintings' suggestions of bodily functions (also explicit in the portraits) appeared, inappropriately to some, to embody the trauma of the war and occupation. (34)

Painted in layers of haute pate, the Portrait of Jean Paulhan includes ruts and gouges that create a rhythmic, yet violent, interplay. (35) The figure gestures emphatically to the viewer, its right arm (at the left of the painting) held up, its left arm held out, the fingers of the loosely scrawled hand brushing the canvas edge. The pose of this left arm is more than awkward; it is disturbing. Appearing to burst forth from what appears to be the pentimento of a previously rendered appendage, this arm bends at the elbow as if broken. A ghost arm remains, however, its hand resting between the figure's legs as if to grab or protect its penis. The organ is not seen in its usual, anatomically correct location, however, appearing instead to have been ripped from its proper place and transported upward to double as quasi-comic yet disquieting neckwear. This genital displacement (alternately signifying biological sex, emasculation, and, perhaps, gender ambiguity) is a strategy Dubuffet used in many of his portraits. (36) In the painting of Paulhan, small circles suggesting buttons below the phallic necktie also call to mind abject droplets of urine or semen arcing over the hand to foreground bodily functions and the displaced genitals. These dislocated sex organs are bizarre, and also recall the sculptures of mental patient Karl Genzel (a.k.a. Brendel) that appear in Prinzhorn's book and feature genitals that dangle from chins. (37)

Hal Foster has noted the striking similarity between Dubuffet's figures and the work of another mental patient, Hermann Behle (Beil), whose art Prinzhorn also discusses in his book (fig. 2). (38) The resemblances between Dubuffet's art and renderings by Behle are especially apparent in the portrait. Both Dubuffet's and Behle's figures fill the picture plane and are posed frontally as though splayed out against its surface. Both feature headgear-like hair and feet that are cut off by the bottom of the frame. As with the semen-like buttons in the portrait of Paulhan, the shirt buttons of Behle's figure also suggest bodily functions gone awry; in Behle's figure they combine with harsh downward lines to form a channel between the neck and the dangling genitals. Rendered flatly and frontally, the genitals of Behle's figure also appear to be flayed and even drip blood. Although placed in the anatomically correct position between the legs, the sex organs in Behle's figure appear barely connected to the body and are thus also disturbingly displaced. Foster suggests that such jarring elements point to the trauma that underlies the Art Brut that attracted Dubuffet. (39) As Foster notes, despite the fact that Dubuffet glorified Art Brut as the product of an internal artistic operation, he appears to have looked to the art of mental patients as an artistic paradigm and a visual source. (40)

Dubuffet's figure also appears as though it has been pressed back into, or forward against, the picture plane and features elements that disconnect or interpenetrate (seen here in the split arm, castrated genitals, and traumatized face). These combine to evoke what Foster describes, more generally, as Dubuffet's "schizophrenic sense of literal self-dislocation." (41) It is my claim that this pictorial slippage in Dubuffet's painting was intentional--that he not only idealized the primal purity of Art Brut (a fact discussed by Foster) but also embraced its disturbance, seeking to deploy it for maximum pictorial impact. Dubuffet's interest in the psychological processes that inspired Art Brut and his acquaintance with the theories of his friend Jacques Lacan would have most certainly informed his approach. (42) Many of Lacan's theories, including the concept of mimicry as a sign of trauma, had likewise been adapted from those elaborated by Surrealist Roger Caillois. (43) Lacan, of course, would become best known for his elaboration of the mirror formation, a theory that aligns self-discovery with the gaze and awareness that the reflection one sees in the mirror represents both the self and the Other. (44)

The Relevance of Oceanic Material

The disquieting gaze of Dubuffet's portrait, which appears to stare blankly ahead with unnaturally disc-shaped eyes, can also be taken by Western viewers to suggest shock or trauma. For me, the eyes cannot but call to mind the process of viewing, dominating the viewing experience and making mere accoutrements of the aforementioned pictorial oddities.

These enigmatic eyes, used here and in a number of Dubuffet's portraits, are also worth exploring since they provide important clues about his artistic aims and his processes of appropriation.

A Iatmul (Yat-mul, a people of Papua New Guinea) sculpture in the ethnographic museum of Marseille--a collection donated only in 1988 but acquired by Dr. Henri Gastaut from the Oceanic collections of Dubuffet's friend Ratton and others in Surrealist circles--also features the startling circular eyes, emphatically confrontational gaze, and fierce expression that is accentuated by stylized facial patterning. (45) This sculpture also features the startling circular eyes, emphatically confrontational gaze, and fierce expression that is accentuated by stylized facial patterning. The downward swoop of the figure's brow differs from the painting, yet such patterning and exaggerated widow's peaks also appear in the portrait to create comparable effects and enhance the figure's disquieting gaze. Dubuffet rearticulates the harsh lines of the sculpted figure's nose and inverts the V-shaped mouth with the addition of bared teeth. To the Western viewer, the expressions of both of these figures (the sculpture and the painting) may seem enigmatic, even maniacal. In the painting, however, these unusual features heighten the suggestion of shock. With characteristic showmanship, Dubuffet amplifies the intensity of his portraits. His figure's appearance of having been stunned, however, alludes to his concurrent artistic aim--to create disjunctive figures, produce a kind of "shell shock," and, as a result, reset and revitalize the viewing public. (46)

Dubuffet attributed to such Oceanic sculptures the kinds of disjunctive qualities he ascribed to Art Brut. For example, he asserted: "We find ourselves here in the presence of extraordinarily delirious productions," adding that "any alienist [psychiatrist] to whom we would show [these artifacts] without mentioning their origin, would diagnose at once that they carry all the marks of the most unbound schizophrenic." (47) He was not alone in making this association; Prinzhorn had set the precedent by including photographs of Oceanic art in his book. (48) But for Dubuffet such delirium, which he and his sitters explored as altered states of awareness, was a prerequisite to creating and even interpreting authentic art. "Shell-shocked by the trauma" induced by true art, Dubuffet asserted, "all the faculties of the mind are aroused, all its bells start clanging." (49)

As Dubuffet's interest in Art Brut increased, he began questioning what has become known as a triad of avant-garde primitivisms that lumped the art of non-Western cultures with the art of children and the mentally ill. In contrast to Prinzhorn's book, for instance, Dubuffet's Art Brut collection contained scant non-Western art. (50) Yet, his own art--and his previously mentioned prose--attests to a comparable conflation. Latching onto the now-defunct banner of "primitivism" that had appealed to modernists of the earlier twentieth century, Dubuffet continued to rely on some of its exploitative practices, combining the visual--and primarily affective--characteristics of Art Brut and the arts of Oceania, both of which were unfamiliar to most Western viewers. While Dubuffet celebrated art in its most primal and ostensibly unenculturated form, he nevertheless produced hybrid, culturally inflected figures--"sphinxes" that might resonate while resisting categorization (the act of being named or owned) within any existing tradition. (51) It is possible that Dubuffet even internally suppressed his awareness of his processes of appropriation. To the degree to which he acknowledged them, however, he would likely have seen them as attuned to Surrealist notions of mimicry and transfiguration resulting from contact with outside stimulus. (52) In combining, if at times also conflating, non-European art and the art he designated to be Art Brut, Dubuffet's portraits testify, in their way, to a perceived bankruptcy of Western culture in the postwar period.

With such ideas in mind, an intriguing comparison can be made between Dubuffet's Portrait of Jean Paulhan and a ceremonial mask and costume produced by the Iatmul (fig. 3). (53) The most striking thing about the mask is its fierce visage, which is created by the use of circular shell fragments that give the eyes an aggressive gaze. Head cocked slightly to the side, the figure glares menacingly at the viewer. The patterned painting and carving accentuate the hostile expression and intensify the menacing effect. Comparable features also distort Paulhan's likeness (fig. 4) in the portrait. The eyes are wider in the painting, which to me (as a Western viewer) also suggests shock. Yet the menacing quality remains, accentuated by the cocked head, open mouth, and frowning bottom lip that rearticulates the mask's protruding tongue. In the Iatmul culture this tongue motif may signify power. (54) In the painting, however, allusions to virility coexist with signs of emasculation. These create another of Dubuffet's famous puns, in this case with chilling effects. In fact, this odd combination of effects echoes those often intended by Oceanic sculptors, who relied upon multivalence to communicate simultaneously on multiple cultural registers. (55) It is "the art of the joke" and of authentic painting, according to Dubuffet, to stage an encounter that is simultaneously humorous, startling, and unsettling--one that is so inexplicable it "freezes you in your tracks." (56) He does this, I believe, in his portrait.

The portrait's face differs from the mask, but its delineated folds of skin, facial structure, and widow's peaks reiterate the mask's patterning, in which stylized curves echo the suggestions of eyebrows and a receding hairline. Harsh lines in the mask appear to slice downward at angles from the close-set eyes and nose. And these too appear translated in the portrait as the defining lines of Paulhan's visage. In the costume, the mask is fitted to a fiber bodice with holes through which the dancer's arms could gesticulate. This bodice also differs from the portrait, in which Paulhan wears a crudely rendered suit. But both torsos are bulky and suggest an X-shaped intersection; in the costume it is emphasized by the pads of the shoulders and in the portrait it is painted as Paulhan's lapels. The large nipples of the costume also appear in the painting, though they are displaced as two buttons down the side of Paulhan's jacket. The costume is replete with a phallic amulet that hangs from a V-shaped rope at the neck--a motif that is surely replicated in the portrait's penile necktie and plunging lapels. An ovular carving dangles below the phallus' tip in the costume; this too is echoed in the portrait. Based on this visual evidence, one could say that Dubuffet adapted such Oceanic motifs in painting Paulhan's portrait.

It is interesting to note that when Dubuffet and Paulhan toured Swiss cities in search of Art Brut, they also visited ethnographic museums containing Oceanic art. Visiting the Musee d'ethnographie de Geneve, they were able to tour its Oceanic collection and meet its illustrious director Eugene Pittard, who had invited them to view the Swiss carnival masks that had piqued the interest of the Surrealists. Publications on the museum's holdings at the time of Dubuffet's visit feature photographs comparable to those seen in Parisian ethnographic collections and publications. (57) Dubuffet and his traveling companion also visited Basel, about which Dubuffet announced: "I recently saw in the Ethnographic Museum of Basel a group of decorated and painted wooden sculptures coming from the former German colony of New Mecklenburg, now called New Ireland [an island in Papua New Guinea], which have just been offered to this museum and are presently on display." (58) These Oceanic artifacts, he asserted, confronted the viewer with untamed creativity.

In addition to the resources already discussed and the well-known collections of Breton and Ratton, Dubuffet could also have seen Oceanic artifacts in the collection of Pierre Loeb, another Surrealist affiliate and a modern art gallerist in Dubuffet's social circles who collected Oceanic art and had been instrumental in introducing it to the Surrealists between the wars. (59) Like many French artists, Dubuffet had visited the Musee de l'Homme and the collection previously at the Musee d'Ethnographie du Trocadero, which included a wide variety of Oceanic artifacts, some of which were even published in postcards highlighting the collection. (60) One prominent source of Oceanic art was the collection of Dr. Stephen Chauvet, who exhibited artifacts at some of the same Parisian exhibitions organized by Breton, Ratton, Loeb, and other Surrealist compatriots. Given Dubuffet's well-known propensity for research, he was likely also familiar with museum catalogues and other publications highlighting Oceanic art, such as Chauvet's 1930 book Les arts indigenes en Nouvelle-Guinee, a photo-illustrated description of Oceanic arts and cultures that includes artifacts he gifted to the Trocadero. (61)

Oceanic art could also be seen at the Musee national des Arts d'Afrique et d'Oceanie constructed on the site of the 1931 Paris Colonial Exposition. (62) Janine Mileaf has noted, too, that the Surrealist counter-exposition and a collagelike exhibition of non-Western art at the Galerie Ratton, both held that same year, highlighted the issues of colonialist appropriation and exploration of cultural difference. (63) During these interwar years, while in the company of Georges Limbour and other Surrealist friends, Dubuffet laid the foundation for his post-Surrealist artistic appropriation. (64) The French public gained new access to Oceanic art through ethnographic photographs during this period as well, and a 1949 article lists numerous documentary and popular films presenting Oceanic art during the first half of the twentieth century. (65) Thus, an array of Oceanic artifacts and motifs became available to French viewers--and to artists such as Dubuffet looking for creative stimulation.

It is likely, given Dubuffet's propensity for research, that he would have discussed the form and iconography of Oceanic artifacts with Breton and Ratton, and that he would have followed up on these inquiries by perusing the many arts and ethnographic publications available through the Surrealists or Parisian museums and libraries. Dubuffet even depicted Ratton in a humorous portrait that mimics one of the most famous Oceanic artifacts in the Musee de l'Homme, modeling Ratton's rounded spectacles on the large circular eyes of an anthropomorphic mask from New Guinea. (66)

Consider also one of Dubuffet's drawings of Paulhan that feature the motifs of circular eyes and upraised arms (fig. 5). These upraised arms are a common motif in Oceanic art, conveying a variety of cultural meanings and appearing on artifacts as diverse as headdresses, dance staffs, spirit boards, panel paintings, bark cloth paintings, and other forms of painting and sculpture (fig. 6). (67) As previously noted, Dubuffet could have seen this motif in a variety of ethnographic publications, museums and private collections such as Breton's, whose artifacts included Oceanic figures in just such a pose. (68) Of course, the motif functioned differently in a European painting, creating a jarring pun on modernism's reverence of flatness. Indeed, these portraits well exemplify a later critic's observation that Dubuffet's figures "appear to have been flattened out by a steamroller." (69)

Also relevant here is Dubuffet's Paul Leautaud on a Caned Chair (fig. 7). The figure of the writer and critic likewise appears to be flattened across the painting's surface--an effect enhanced by the figure's circular eyes and upraised arms. These and a rounded yet semi-polygonal head are its dominant features and are motifs that also appear in the carved and painted wooden suspension hooks (fig. 8) that were used traditionally in a variety of Oceanic cultures to store food or collect the heads of revered ancestors and conquered enemies (a practice outlawed under colonialism). (70) Dubuffet's bobble-headed figu (re) sits, arms and legs akimbo, in a pose characteristic of these hooks, here anchored to a caned chair in France. Although the legs in the portrait fold limply to the side, the portrait's stick-thinness and upraised arms evoke the poses of the figures used to form many such hooks. Likewise, Dubuffet's figure echoes the criss-cross forms of the sculpture's outstretched arms and legs. Even the etched lines tattooing the sculpture's face and body find their way into Dubuffet's portrait, suggested by scrapes in the thick paint. Though displaced, the most directly mimicked patterning in the portrait appears on the seat of the chair, its caning indicated by crosshatched lines resembling the markings on the sculpture's arms and legs. Such criss-cross patterning appears in many Oceanic artifacts, including the mixed-media costumes and other objects that Chauvet collected, published, and donated to French museums and the bark cloth paintings that Loeb collected and circulated among the Surrealists. (71)

Such patterning also appears in Dubuffet's Bertele bouquet fleuri Portrait de parade (Ceremonial Portrait of Bertele as a Floral Bouquet), in which he refrains from blatant referencing of Oceanic art while retaining its visual thrust (fig. 9). Many of the painting's characteristics echo the rendering of Paulhan, including the intensity of the figure's gaze (made possible by its staring, circular eyes), ambiguous appendages (outstretched arms that suggest the legs seen in the Oceanic suspension hooks), and double entendre attire (crudely rendered apparel that includes an emphatically penile necktie).

An addition in Bertele bouquet fleuri is its decidedly skull-shaped visage, which is accentuated by the stitch-like lines representing teeth. These elements call to mind some of the most glaringly affective Oceanic art to be found--the ceremonial skull art produced by the Iatmul and some other Oceanic cultures. These human skulls were overlaid with painted clay, shell, and hair for storage, reverence, and power display on the aforementioned hooks. (72) In some examples one finds modeled mouths; in others the actual teeth of the deceased. Chauvet illustrated some of these skulls in his book, and Breton owned several that can now be seen at the Centre Pompidou and "L'atelier de la rue Fontaine" at the Association Atelier Andre Breton. (73) In Dubuffet's portrait the teeth also take on the stitch-like appearance of many figures depicted in Oceanic panel paintings. Adding painterly gesture to his depiction of this gesturing figure, Dubuffet dragged a brush or other instrument (perhaps one of his trowels, spatulas, or fingers) through the muddy surface of the painting's haute pate, creating both painterly and sculptural effects.


The materiality of Dubuffet's haute pate seems to be, as Pepe Karmel observes, a logical progression from the papier-mache masks he produced during the interwar era. (74) In fact, it is interesting to note that Dubuffet created his masks by making clay and plaster casts of his friends' faces and layering them with painted papiermache. (75) Perhaps this layering process guided his painting as he looked to the clay-coated skulls of Oceania for inspiration. For Dubuffet, authentic art should, to the greatest extent possible, result from creative inner drives and "exhibit the abilities of invention and creation in a very direct fashion, without masks or constraints." (76) The mask represents many things in many cultures, but transformation is its raison d'etre. Transformation was the crucial component of Dubuffet's practice, his appropriation games, and, importantly, his quest to remake art in postwar Europe.


[1.] For an overview of Dubuffet's portraits see Jean Dubuffet and Max Loreau, Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubuffet, Fasc. III: Plus beaux qu'ils croient, Portraits (Paris: J.J. Pauvert, 1966); Dubuffet's "Causette," the comic strip-like announcement for his 1947 exhibition of portraits, is reprinted with original graphics on pages 13-16. See also Kent Minturn, "Physiognomic Illegibility: Jean Dubuffet's Postwar Portraits," in Jean Dubuffet: Anticultural Positions, ed. Anny Aviram, Kent Minturn and Mark Rosenthal (New York: Acquavella Galleries, 2016), 37-62; Andrea Nicole Maier, "Dubuffet's Decade" (PhD dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 2009); and Stephanie Chadwick, "Disorienting Forms: Jean Dubuffet, Portraiture, Ethnography" (PhD dissertation, Rice University, Houston, 2015).

[2.] Jean Dubuffet, "Notes for the Well-Read," in Mildred Glimcher, Jean Dubuffet: Towards an Alternative Reality, trans. Joachim Neugroschel (New York: Pace Publications, 1987), 74.

[3.] Jean Dubuffet, "In Honor of Savage Values," trans. Kent Minturn, Anthropology and Aesthetics 46 (Autumn, 2004), 263. Dubuffet wrote this text for a lecture at the University of Lille upon the opening of the exhibition "Cinq petits inventeurs de la peinture" (Five Little Inventors of Painting) at the Marcel Evrard bookstore.

[4.] For more on Alois Riegl as an influence on Hans Prinzhorn, see David Maclagan, Outsider Art: From the Margins to the Marketplace (London: Reaktion Books, 2009), 8, and Colin Rhodes, Outsider Art: Spontaneous Alternatives (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2000), 59-61.

[5.] Hans Prinzhorn, Bildnerei der Geisteskranken: ein Beitrag zur Psychologie und Psychopathologie der Gestaltung (Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1922). First translated into English as Hans Prinzhorn, Artistry of the Mentally Ill: A Contribution to the Psychology and Psychopathology of Configuration, trans. James L. Foy (New York: Springer, 1972). First translated into French as Hans Prinzhorn, Expressions de la folie: dessins, peintures, sculptures d'asile, ed. and trans. Alain Brousse, Marielene Weber, and Jean Starobinski (Paris: Gallimard, 1984). For more on Prinzhorn's influence on Dubuffet see John Maizels, Raw Creation: Outsider Art and Beyond (London: Phaidon Press, 1996), 31-32, and Hal Foster, "Blinded Insights: On the Modernist Reception of the Art of the Mentally Ill," October 97 (Summer, 2001), 3-30.

[6.] Jean Dubuffet, "Art Brut chez Dubuffet," in Jean Dubuffet, Prospectus et tous ecrits suivants, vol. II (Paris: Gallimard, 1967), 41-42. Dubuffet discusses the art that inspired his painting (including the work of Paul Klee), adding that although he could not read the German text, the pictures in Prinzhorn's book had a profound impact and that "interest in the art of the insane, and the rejection of established culture, was 'in the air' ... in the 1920s."

[7.] Dubuffet, "Art Brut chez Dubuffet," 57-58.

[8.] Kent Minturn, "Dubuffet avec Damisch," October 154 (Fall, 2015), 69-86; Maier, "Dubuffet's Decade;" and Andrea Nicole Maier, "Jean Dubuffet and the Bodies of Ladies," Art History 34, no. 5 (November, 2011), 101341. For foundational discussion of Dubuffet's artistic development see Loreau, "Introduction" and comments, in Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubuffet; Glimcher, Jean Dubuffet: Towards an Alternative Reality; Peter Selz, The Work of Jean Dubuffet (New York: Museum of Modern Art; Doubleday, 1962); Hubert Damisch, "Introduction," in Dubuffet, Prospectus et tous ecrits suivants, vol. 1; and Jean Dubuffet, Biographie au pas de course (Paris, Gallimard, 2001).

[9.] Elizabeth Cowling, "'L'Oeil Sauvage:' Oceanic Art and the Surrealists," in Art of Northwest New Guinea, ed. Suzanne Greub (New York: Rizzoli, 1992), 181, and Philippe Peltier, "Jacques Viot, the Maro of Tobati, and Modern Painting: Paris-New Guinea 1925-1935," in Ibid., 159, 162-3.

[10.] Dubuffet, Biographie au pas de course, 21-22; Andre Masson, Les Annees Surrealistes: correspondance 1916-1942, ed. Francoise Levaillant (Paris: La Manufacture, 1990), 28-29; and Helene Parant, Fabrice Flahutez, and Camille Morando, La bibliotheque d'Andre Masson: une archeologie (Paris: Ed. Artvenir, 2011), 73. Discussions of Dubuffet's interwar activities can also be gleaned in his many correspondences in the Fondation Dubuffet Archives.

[11.] For more on Dubuffet's methods of collecting Art Brut see Lucienne Peiry, Art Brut: The Origins of Outsider Art (Paris: Flammarion, 2006), and Antonia Dapena-Tretter, "Jean Dubuffet & Art Brut: The Creation of an Avant-Garde Identity," Platform 11 (Autumn 2017), 12-33.

[12.] Dubuffet, "In Honor of Savage Values," 263.

[13.] Dubuffet, Biographie au pas de course, 15-24, 36-37; Dubuffet, "Art Brut chez Dubuffet," 57-58.

[14.] I explored the intersections between Dubuffet's anti-cultural writings and comparable prose of three of his key portrait sitters Antonin Artaud, Henri Michaux, and Michel Tapie in my dissertation, Disorienting Forms: Jean Dubuffet, Portraiture, Ethnography.

[15.] Jean Dubuffet, "Anticultural Positions," a 22-page facsimile of the artist's manuscript notes (handwritten in English) for a lecture at the Arts Club of Chicago on December 20, 1951, in Dubuffet and the Anticulture (New York: R. L. Feigen & Co, 1969); see also Dubuffet, "In Honor of Savage Values," 263; and Dubuffet, "L'Art brut prefere aux arts culturels," in Prospectus et tous ecrits suivants, 198-202, translated as "Art Brut Preferred to the Popular Arts," in Glimcher, Jean Dubuffet, 101-4.

[16.] Dubuffet, "Notes for the Well-Read," 70.

[17.] Dubuffet, "Notes for the WellRead," 81. See also Genevieve Bonnefoi, Jean Dubuffet (Caylus: Association Mouvements, 2002). Bonnefoi also discusses Dubuffet's work in terms of disorientation and a thematic of perpetual movement, but she does not develop these ideas in relation to the writings of his portrait sitters, or the Oceanic artifacts I consider here.

[18.] Dubuffet, "Memoir of the Development of My Work From 1952," in Selz, The Work of Jean Dubuffet, 84-85, 103-6, 116-25. Dubuffet used the term "assemblage" to refer to his butterfly collages and imprint assemblages in 1953. He then expanded upon these ideas in 1955-56 with his "painting assemblages"--collages created by cutting and pasting some of his paintings. From that time on he became ever more experimental and engaged with sculpture, architecture, and performance while maintaining his foundation in painting and, I argue, collage.

[19.] Anna Dezeuze, "Assemblage, Bricolage, and the Practice of Everyday Life," Art Journal 67, no. 1 (Spring, 2008), 31; for more on Dubuffet's relationship with Levi-Strauss see Kent Minturn, "Dubuffet, Levi-Strauss, and the Idea of Art Brut," Anthropology and Aesthetics 46 (Autumn, 2004), 247-58.

[20.] For more on Performativity in its early articulation in linguistics see J.L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words (Cambridge: Harvard Press, 1962) and Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976).

[21.] James Clifford, "On Ethnographic Surrealism," in The Predicament of Culture (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988), 118-19.

[22.] John Culbert, "Slow Progress: Johan Paulhan and Madagascar," October 83 (Winter, 1998), 71-95; see also Denis Hollier and R. Howard Bloch, A New History of French Literature (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1989), 903-4.

[23.] Dubuffet, "Anticultural Positions," 1-22. For more on the similarities and the well-publicized differences between the ideas circulated by these two cultural thinkers, see Dominique Merllie, "Durkheim, Levy-Bruhl, and 'Primitive Thinking:' What Disagreement?" P.U.F. L'Annee sociologique 62, no. 2 (2012), 429-46.

[24.] Jean Dubuffet, letter to Florence Gould, August 9, 1946, Fondation Dubuffet Archives. Jean Paulhan introduced Dubuffet to the weekly luncheons held by Gould, who was a patron of the arts. Dubuffet writes to Gould: "Dans quelle aventure vous m'avez jete! Rien n'etait plus loin de ma pensee que de faire de portraits! Je n'avais pas la moindre idee de cela! Eh bien me voila maintenant embarque dans cette affaire, es tout a fait passionee." ("What an adventure you have thrown me into! Nothing could have been further from my thoughts than making portraits! I hadn't the least idea of doing that. Now I have embarked on this endeavor altogether passionately.") For more discussion of the impact Paulhan had on Dubuffet's painting see Minturn, "Physiognomic Illegibility: Jean Dubuffet's Postwar Portraits" and Maier, Dubuffet's Decade.

[25.] Dubuffet, Biographie au pas de course, 53; Jean Paulhan, Guide d'un petit voyage en Suisse (Paris: Gallimard, 1947); Archives du Musees d'Ethnographie, Geneve, "Compte rendu de l'administration municipale de 1945, Geneve," 1946, p. 3; see also Lucienne Peiry, "Le role d'Eugene Pittard dans l'aventure de l'Art Brut," in TOTEM 65 (October 2013-March 2014), 10-11, at totem65.pdf (accessed Sept. 15, 2017).

[26.] Jean Dubuffet, Asphyxiating Culture and other Writings, trans. Carol Volk (New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1988), 109. The group also benefitted from the patronage of American expatriate and portrait instigator Florence Gould.

[27.] Dubuffet, quoted in Rachel Perry, " Paint Boldly!: Dubuffet's DIY Manual," October 154 (Fall, 2015), 88-89. Perry's main focus is Dubuffet's materiality, but her discussion of his formation of the Compagnie de L'Art Brut and proposed Almanach de l'Art Brut provides insights into how these projects fit his overall artistic goals.

[28.] Baptiste Brun, "Reunir une documentation pour l'Art Brut: les prospections de Jean Dubuffet dans l'immediat apres-guerre au regard du modele ethnographique," Les Cahiers de lEcole du Louvre, Recherches en histoire de l'art, histoire des civilisations, archeologie, anthropologie et museologie 4 (April 2014), 56-66.

[29.] Dubuffet, "In Honor of Savage Values," 261.

[30.] Dubuffet, "Notes for the Well-Read," 77.

[31.] Dubuffet, Biographie au pas de course, 48; also relevant is "Studio Log 3 January 1947," Antonin Artaud aux houppes (Antonin Artaud with Tufted Hair), reprinted in Jean Dubuffet and Max Loreau, Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubuffet, fascicule III, 79; and in Andreas Franzke, Dubuffet, trans. Robert Erich Wolf (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1981), 47. For more on Fautrier, see Curtis L. Carter and Karen K. Butler, Jean Fautrier, 1898-1964 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002). Dubuffet met Fautrier in 1943, after becoming acquainted with Paulhan. Dubuffet is said to have been profoundly affected by Fautrier's 1945 Otage series. The two artists worked in a similar manner, spreading the thick paste onto horizontally placed canvases, though Dubuffet increasingly experimented with adding real-world elements, such as ash, sand, and detritus, to his mixture.

[32.] For more on these bodies of work see Dubuffet and Loreau, Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubuffet, fascicules I and II.

[33.] Fondation Dubuffet, Cahiers 2 & 3, Press articles. Dubuffet filled these volumes with press clippings related to his art between 1945 and 1947. A number of these are celebratory, but many are derisive, proclaiming that Dubuffet's work signaled the degeneration of art.

[34.] For more on Dubuffet and postwar scarcity, see Yve-Alain Bois, "No to ... the Informel," in Yve-Alain Bois and Rosalind E. Krauss, Formless: A User's Guide (New York: Zone Books, 1997), 138-43.

[35.] Dubuffet, Biographie au pas de course, 51; Dubuffet, "A Word About the Company of Art Brut," 109; and Jean Dubuffet, et al., Correspondence 1944-1968 (Paris: Gallimard, 2003).

[36.] Creating comical, though unsettling, allusions to castration in his male sitters, he used this tactic even in depicting his few female subjects. His portraits of the poet Edith Boissonnas are cases in point, as they depict her in a smart suit with plunging lapels and a ruffled neck scarf that double as vulva. The portrait of Edith Boissonnas a l echarpe (Edit Boissonnas with a Scarf) appears in the Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubuffet, fascicule III, 85.

[37.] Prinzhorn, Artistry of the Mentally Ill, 146. Prinzhorn used the name Brendel to protect the patient's identity. One can also see examples of these sculptures on the Kulturstiftung der Lander, the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States website, at http://www. (accessed March 14, 2018).

[38.] Foster, "Blinded Insights: On the Modernist Reception of the Art of the Mentally Ill," 16; Prinzhorn, Artistry of the Mentally Ill. Although the image to which I compare Dubuffet's painting here did not appear in Prinzhorn's book, it is likely that Dubuffet could have seen a reproduction elsewhere prior to visiting the Prinzhorn collection in 1950.

[39.] Foster, "Blinded Insights: On the Modernist Reception of the Art of the Mentally Ill," 16. I also discuss these issues in relation to another of Dubuffet's portraits in "Double Take: Jean Dubuffet's portrait of Antonin Artaud and the Balinese Theater," in Two for One: The Double in Western Art, ed. Mary Edwards (forthcoming).

[40.] Foster, "Blinded Insights: On the Modernist Reception of the Art of the Mentally Ill," 16.

[41.] Ibid., 3-30; Dubuffet, "A Word About the Company of Art Brut," 110.

[42.] Dubuffet, letter to photographer Daniel Wallard, Dec. 20, 1944, in "Jean Dubuffet Correspondence and Papers, 1944-1984," records of the Getty Research Institute. Dubuffet encourages Wallard to visit Jacques Lacan, whom Dubuffet calls a friend.

[43.] Dubuffet, letter to photographer Daniel Wallard, Dec. 20, 1944; Jacques Lacan, "The Line and Light," in The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Norton, 1978), 91-104; Roger Caillois and John Shepley, "Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia," October 31 (Winter, 1984), 17-32 (originally published in Minotaure 7, 1935); Roger Caillois, "The Praying Mantis: from Biology to Psychoanalysis" and "Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia," in The Edge of Surrealism: A Roger Caillois Reader, ed. Claudine Frank (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003), 69-102. See also Homi K. Bhabha, "Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonialist Discourse," in The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 1994), 85-92. Bhabha cites Lacan in discussing mimicry as both the subject's sense of disintegration into (or of being under attack by) a hostile environment--as in the camouflage of warfare, and, alternately, efforts to adapt to the imbalances caused by colonialist practices. For more on these theories with regard to Dubuffet's collage see Sarah K. Rich, "Jean Dubuffet: The Butterfly Man," October 119 (Winter, 2007), 46-74.

[44.] For more on Lacan's mirror stage, initially mentioned in a 1936 lecture and subsequently published in the Revue Francais de Psychanalyse, see Jacques Lacan, Ecrits: The First Complete Edition in English, trans. Bruce Fink, Heloise Fink, and Russell Grigg (New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2006).

[45.] For more on the Oceanic collection at the Musee d'Arts Africains, Oceaniens, Amerindiens--MAAOA, see the museum's website, les-musees-de-marseille/musee-d-artsafricains-oceaniens-amerindiens-maaoa; for more on Dr. Gastaut, see http:// (accessed March 14, 2018).

[46.] Dubuffet, "Notes for the Well-Read," 81.

[47.] Dubuffet, "In Honor of Savage Values," 264.

[48.] Prinzhorn, Artistry of the Mentally Ill, 249-252. From a problematic nineteenth-century point of view, Prinzhorn highlights visual correlations between the art of mental patients and so-called "primitive" societies. Prinzhorn included comparative photographs of a number of African and Oceanic artifacts without considering the possibility that some resemblances might be a result of patients having seen such artifacts in ethnographic publications and colonial expositions. In cataloguing Art Brut, moreover, Dubuffet weeded out the art of any patients that followed Western art conventions and selected only those works he considered to be raw forms of creative expression.

[49.] Dubuffet, "Notes for the Well-Read," 81.

[50.] For more on this triad see Maclagan, Outsider Art, 8; Rhodes, Outsider Art, 59-61; and Charles Harrison and Paul Wood, eds., Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas (Malden, Mass: Blackwood Publishing, 2000), 121.

[51.] Dubuffet, "Landscaped Tables, Landscapes of the Mind, Stones of Philosophy," in Selz, The Work of Jean Dubuffet, 63.

[52.] Caillois, "The Praying Mantis: from Biology to Psychoanalysis" and "Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia."

[53.] Although other of the artifacts to which I compare Dubuffet's painting in this paper can be traced to (or are very much like) those in early twentieth-century European collections, I am struck by the coalescence in this more recently acquired Metropolitan Museum artifact of the Oceanic motifs I see time and again in Dubuffet's work.

[54.] Brooklyn Museum, "Drum: Arts of the Pacific Islands," https://www. objects/115484 (accessed March 14, 2018); J.A.W. Forge, "Art and Environment in the Sepik," Proceedings of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 1965 (1965), 23-31. The Brooklyn Museum catalogue entry for a carved Iatmul drum discusses the tongue as a sign of power. Although the costume at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to which I compare Dubuffet's painting is thought to depict a female ancestor, Forge's article discusses the prevalence of phallic iconography and the enigmatic combining of male and female symbolism in the art of the region.

[55.] Eric Kjellgren, How to Read Oceanic Art (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014), 13, 16-17. For more on multivalence in Oceanic art see also Anthony J.P. Meyer, Oceanic Art (Koln: Konemann, 1995).

[56.] Jean Dubuffet, "Notes for the Well-Read," 81.

[57.] Dubuffet, Biographie au pas de course, 53; Jean Paulhan, Guide d'un petit voyage en Suisse (Paris: Gallimard, 1947); Archives du Musees d'Ethnographie, Geneve, "Compte rendu de l'Administration municipale de 1945, Geneve" (1946), 3; Musee d'ethnographie de la ville de Geneve, "Eugene Pittard : Le Visage multiplie du monde (1937)," in Le Visage multiplie du monde: quatre siecles d'ethnographie a Geneve (Geneve: Musee d'ethnographie, 1985), 123-130; see also Peiry, 10-11, at totem/totem65.pdf (accessed March 14, 2018).

[58.] Dubuffet, "In Honor of Savage Values," 264.

[59.] For more on Ratton's extensive collecting and networking see Philippe Dagen and Maureen Murphy, eds. Charles Ratton, L'invention des arts "primitifs" (Paris: Skira Flammarion, 2013), 118. For more on Breton's collection see Andre Breton and F. H. Lem, Oceanie (Paris: A. Olive, 1948), and Andre Breton and Paul filuard, Collection Andre Breton et Paul Eluard. Sculptures d'Afrique, d'Amerique, d'Oceanie (Hotel Drouot [Paris]: n.p., 1931); for a contemporaneous look at Breton's collection see the extensive photographs in "L'atelier de la rue Fontaine," Association Atelier Andre Breton, (accessed March 14, 2018); for more on Loeb's collecting see Peltier, "Jacques Viot, the Maro of Tobati, and Modern Painting," 159 and 162-163.

[60.] Musee du quai Branly, "Oceanie--Nelle Gurnee Piquet surmonte d'une face humaine," No. de gestion: PP0152717, at (accessed March 14, 2018). This stake capped with the image of a human face is listed as "Appartient a une serie de cartes postales editees par le Musee d'Ethnographie du Trocadero reproduisant des objets des collections" (appearing in a series of postcards edited by the museum reproducing some objects of the collections).

[61.] Stephen Charles Chauvet, Les arts indigenes en Nouvelle-Guinee (Paris: Societe d'fiditions Geographiques, Maritimes et Coloniales, 1930); Patrick O'Reilly, "Stephen Chauvet, 1885-1950," Journal de la Societe des Oceanistes, Annee 7 (1951), 219-222.

[62.] For more on Surrealist arts and ethnographic intersections, including the formation of the Musee de l'Homme, see Clifford, "On Ethnographic Surrealism," 122-135; Katharine Conley, Robert Desnos, Surrealism, and the Marvelous in Everyday Life (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003), 117; Cowling, "'L'Oeil Sauvage,'" 181; and Peltier, "Jacques Viot, the Maro of Tobati, and Modern Painting," 159 and 162-163. Dubuffet's various correspondences and his Biographie au pas de course discuss his friendship with Robert Desnos, who worked to help open the Musee de l'Homme and was acquainted with Michel Leris, Claude Levi-Strauss, and other instrumental figures in the evolving Parisian ethnographic scene.

[63.] Janine Mileaf, "Body to Politics: Surrealist Exhibition of the Tribal and the Modern at the Anti-Imperialist Exhibition and the Galerie Charles Ratton," RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics 40 (Autumn, 2001), 239-255.

[64.] Dubuffet, Biographie au pas de course, 21-22; Masson, Les annees Surrealistes: Correspondance 1916-1942, 28-29; Helene Parant, et al., La bibliotheque d'Andre Masson: une archeologie, 73. Discussions of Dubuffet's interwar activities can also be gleaned from the many correspondences in the Fondation Dubuffet Archives.

[65.] Patrick O'Reilly, "Le 'documentaire' ethnographique en Oceanie. [fitude, suivie d'un Repertoire analytique et critique de vingt-cinq films]," in Journal de la Societe des oceanistes 5 (1949), 117-144.

[66.] For more on Ratton and Dubuffet, including a look at Dubuffet's portrait of the collector, see Dagen and Murphy, Charles Ratton, 118.

[67.] For images of the motif of upraised arms in Oceanic art see Chauvet, Les arts indigenes en Nouvelle-Guinee; Ralph Linton, Paul S. Wingert, and Rene D'Harnoncourt, Arts of the South Seas (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1946); Suzanne Greub, ed., Art of Northwest New Guinea: From Geelvink Bay, Humboldt Bay, and Lake Sentani (New York: Rizzoli, 1992); and Metropolitan Museum of Art and Eric Kjellgren, Oceania: Art of the Pacific Islands in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications, 2007).

[68.] For more on Breton's collection see "L'atelier de la rue Fontaine," Association Atelier Andre Breton, at http://www. (accessed March 14, 2018).

[69.] Henry McBride, "Four Transoceanic Reputations," Art News 49, no. 9 (January 1951), 28-29.

[70.] For more on the creation and use of skull hooks in Oceanic cultures see Chauvet, Les arts indigenes en Nouvelle-Guinee; Linton, Arts of the South Seas; Kjellgren, Oceania: Art of the Pacific Islands in the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Natasha McKinney, "Ancestral Remains from Oceania: Histories and Relationships in the Collection of the British Musum," in Regarding the Dead: Human Remains in the British Museum, ed. Alexandra Fletcher, Daniel Antoine, and J. D. Hill (London: British Museum, 2014), 35-36. McKinney discusses the trophy heads collected by Middle Sepik River peoples, including the clay-covered skulls of the Iatmul. She also discusses the patterned skull hooks of the Kerewa people.

[71.] Peltier thoroughly discusses the attraction that the bark cloth paintings collected by Loeb held for the Surrealists.

[72.] For more on the clay-covered trophy heads of the Iatmul see Chauvet, Les arts indigenes en Nouvelle-Guinee; Linton, Arts of the South Seas; Kjellgren, Oceania: Art of the Pacific Islands in the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Natasha McKinney," Ancestral Remains from Oceania, 35-36.

[73.] Chauvet, Les arts indigenes en Nouvelle-Guinee 16; "L'atelier de la rue Fontaine," Association Atelier Andre Breton, at desktop (accessed March 14, 2018).

[74.] Pepe Karmel, "Jean Dubuffet: The Would-be Barbarian," Apollo CLVI, no. 489 (October 2002), 16.

[75.] Georges Limbour, Tableau bon levain a vous de cuire la pate: l'art brut de Jean Dubuffet (Paris: R. Drouin, 1953), 16-17.

[76.] Dubuffet, Asphyxiating Culture, 110; Dubuffet, "In Honor of Savage Values," 260.

Caption: Figure 1. Jean Dubuffet, Portrait of Jean Paulhan, February 1947, haute pate on canvas, dimensions unknown. In Jean Dubuffet, Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubuffet. Fascicule III (Paris: J.-J. Pauvert, 1966), 86, no. 124. [C] Fondation Dubuffet, Paris / 2018 ARS, New York-ADAGP Paris.

Caption: Figure 2. Hermann Heinrich Friedrich Behle (pseudonym Beil), untitled drawing, c. 1929, pencil and crayon on paper, 7 x 4 3/4 in (17.5 x 11.9 cm). Prinzhorn Collection, Heidelberg, no. 76/4. [C] Prinzhorn Collection, University Hospital Heidelberg.

Caption: Figure 3, below. Iatmul ceremonial mask and costume, Sepik River region, Papua New Guinea, c. late 19th-early 20th century, fiber, wood, grass, shell, seeds, and paint, dimensions unknown. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller. [C] The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image resource: Art Resource, NY

Caption: Figure 4, right Photograph of Jean Paulhan, c.1940, Photo by adoc-photos/Corbis via Getty Images

Caption: Figure 5. Jean Dubuffet: Paulhan (State 2), 1946, Pencil drawing on paper, location and dimensions unknown. In Jean Dubuffet and Max Loreau, Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubuffet, Fascicule III (Paris: J.-J. Pauvert, 1966), 49, no. 64. [C] Fondation Dubuffet, Paris / 2018 ARS, New York-ADAGP Paris.

Caption: Figure 6. Photographs of oceanic figures in Stephen Chauvet, Les arts indigenes en Nouvelle-Guinee (Paris: Societe d'editions geographiques, maritimes et coloniales, 1930), 105.

Caption: Figure 7. Jean Dubuffet, Paul Leautaud a la chaise cannee (Paul Leautaud on a Caned Chair), November 1946, oil (haute pate) on canvas, 51 x 38 in. (129.5 x 96.5 cm). New Orleans Museum of Art (Bequest of Victor K. Kiam). In Jean Dubuffet and Max Loreau, Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubuffet, Fascicule III (Paris: J.-J. Pauvert, 1966), 65, no. 90. [C] Fondation Dubuffet, Paris / 2018 ARS, New York--ADAGP Paris.

Caption: Figure 8, right. Kerewa skull hook (agiba), Papua New Guinea, c. 19th-20th century, wood and paint, 55 7/8 in. (141.7 cm) tall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller. [C] The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image resource: Art Resource, NY

Caption: Figure 9. Jean Dubuffet, Bertele bouquet fleuri portrait de parade (Ceremonial Portrait of Bertele as a Floral Bouquet), 1947, oil (haute pate) on canvas, 46 x 35 in. (116.8 x 88.9 cm). The National Gallery of Art, Washington (Gift of the Stephen Hahn Family Collection). In Jean Dubuffet and Max Loreau, Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubuffet, Fascicule III (Paris: J.-J. Pauvert, 1966), 107. [C] Fondation Dubuffet, Paris / 2018 ARS, New York-ADAGP Paris.
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Date:Jan 1, 2018
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