Jean Dubuffet at Pace Gallery

Visiting a Swiss asylum in 1945, French artist Jean Dubuffet became fascinated by the art work produced by its patients; he considered it “unscathed by artistic culture” and a product of pure human experience. He subsequently founded the Art brut movement (which roughly translates as “raw art”), garnering international attention and the admiration of 20th-century heavyweights Jean Cocteau, Claude Lévi-Strauss and Joan Miró. Théâtres de mémoire, perhaps his most highly regarded series, will go on display next week at the Pace Gallery in London. Dubuffet began work on the formidable paintings at the age of 74, using magnets to arrange his vast cut-out collages. Taking its title from Frances Yates’s The Art of Memory, which detailed the techniques Cicero et al practised to learn great swathes of information by heart, Dubuffet assembles fragments of places, people and scenes in a way that sought to mirror the lack of narrative in human memory. His work caught the eye of a young Jean-Michel Basquiat, who used to visit Pace Gallery to see new Dubuffet pieces when they arrived. With many of these works on display in the UK for the first time, expect a flurry of attention.

Jean Dubuffet: Théâtres de Mémoire (13 September – 21 October), Pace Gallery, 6 Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3ET (020 3206 7600); @pacegallery

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