Art: Dubuffet: Realism As Absurdity

I would like people to see my work as a rehabilitation of scorned values and, in any case, make no mistake about it, a work of ardent celebration.

Thus Jean Dubuffet, 71, the ex-wine merchant from Le Havre, described the paintings that have earned him a reputation as France's most eminent living artist as well as its official culture scourge. The three decades of his output now displayed in an enormous retrospective at Manhattan's Guggenheim Museum resemble a strip-mining operation. With indefatigable and clamorous gusto, Dubuffet has chewed up whole tracts of land...

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