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“Jean Dubuffet, a barbarian in Europe” exhibition at the MEG

The painter, sculptor and writer Jean Dubuffet was a key player on the 20th century art scene. In addition to paying homage to him, the exhibition focuses on the artist’s visit to Switzerland, and in particular to the MEG, following the Second World War – a journey that played a decisive role in his definition of “Outsider Art”.  

Jean Dubuffet, an elusive artist

In the aftermath of the Second World War, Jean Dubuffet levelled radical criticism at the art and culture of his era. In an attempt to break free from the dominant codes of the history of art, he explored numerous artistic techniques in total freedom. In Africa and Oceania, among children, in psychiatric environments, prisons, folk art and street graffiti, Dubuffet found a different form of art and opened new avenues by taking an interest in anything that he felt reflected free artistic creation..

Exposition Jean Dubuffet au MEG

Ontogénèse par Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), 1974 Vinyle sur panneau. 251 x 316 cm

At the heart of the exhibition

During the summer of 1945, Jean Dubuffet began his journey through Switzerland at the MEG, where he met Eugène Pittard and Marguerite Lobsiger-Dellenbach. The latter introduced him to local psychiatrist Charles Ladame and then to Walter Morgenthaler in Bern, both of whom in turn introduced him to different works of art. These meetings were the inspiration behind his concept of “Outsider Art”. Comprising almost 300 works, the exhibition illustrates how Dubuffet intertwined his artistic activities with his research into “Outsider Art”. It presents all the diversity of his work as well as a selection of objects from both his own collection and from museums of ethnography or psychiatric hospitals that he saw and appreciated over the years.

The exhibition is organised with the support of the Dubuffet Foundation and the generous collaboration of the Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne.
“Jean Dubuffet, a barbarian in Europe” is a joint production which was first presented in 2019 at the Mucem in Marseilles, then at the IVAM (Institute of Modern Art in Valence, Spain). 

  • Public inauguration on 8-9-10 September. Late opening until 9 p.m. and free admission.
  • Online registration required (during the public inauguration days and thereafter).
  • Partnership with the Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne and the Musée Barbier-Mueller in Geneva (an entry ticket to the exhibition at the MEG allows you to visit the exhibitions of the Collection de l’Art Brut and the “The Barbus Müller, their enigmatic sculptor finally unmasked” exhibition at the Musée Barbier-Mueller free of charge).
Du 8 septembre 2020 au 28 février 2021

Musée d'ethnographie de Genève (MEG)

Boulevard Carl-VOGT 65
1205 Genève
Tél. +41 22 418 45 50
Fax +41 22 418 45 51
Site web du MEG

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Article modifié le 09.09.2020 à 16:29