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Business Lunch (Dejeuner d’affaires)

With its caricatured depiction of identically dressed businessmen devouring their lunch, this painting satirizes postwar conformity. A leader of the Art brut (raw art) movement, Jean Dubuffet took his inspiration from art created by people outside of the artistic mainstream, including the mentally ill. This work is painted with a technique Dubuffet called haute pâte (high impasto), in which the painting is built up in numerous layers. He covered a white ground with a layer of oil paint and then applied a thick coating of dark pigments mixed with sand. The figures are incised into the rough surface, giving them a graffiti-like quality.

Jean Dubuffet
French, 1901–1985
Business Lunch (Dejeuner d’affaires)
May–June 1946
Oil and sand on canvas
35 x 45 ½ in. (88.9 x 115.6 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Henry R. Hope, 69.157

Large image not available.