Jean Dubuffet first studied painting at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1917 and moved to Paris the following year. He studied briefly at the Académie Julian and gave up painting entirely in 1924 due to cultural skepticism. He lived without art for about eight years but by 1942 he devoted himself completely to painting. His first solo show in 1944, at the Galerie René Drouin, Paris, featured paintings inspired by Parisian life in a simplified, often humorous style (“Metro” series, 1943). During the 1940s Dubuffet searched for a direct approach, free from academic constraints, and developed his own childlike style based on images made by children and the disabled. After he began to study what he called art brut in 1945, he founded the Compagnie de l’Art Brut in 1948 and published an essay, “L'Art Brut Préféré aux Arts Culturels,” in 1949. Throughout his career Dubuffet explored painting, lithography,
sculpture, writing, and such materials as sand, gesso, tar, and gravel to create textured surfaces. In 1962, inspired by a doodle he made during a telephone conversation, he began his “Hourloupe” series. A Dubuffet retrospective was held at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 2001.