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After witnessing the atrocities of World War II, Jean Dubuffet rejected the standards of beauty and perfection inherited from ancient Greece. Inspired by the art of people with mental disorders, of the untutored, and of children, he painted figures in a crude and naïf style of thick impasto and coarse texture. Such emphatic matière associated him with the aesthetics of Art Informel. In this portrait, the often romanticized and glorified subject of a soldier is rendered anti-heroic. Lucien Geominne’s face is distorted, grotesque and pale; his skin appears to be disintegrating and decaying, raising the question: is he dead or alive?
|Original Title||Portrait du soldat Lucien Geominne|
|Medium||Oil, sand, and pebbles on Masonite|
|Dimensions||64.8 x 61.6 cm|
|Credit line||Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, Hannelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof Collection, bequest of Hannelore B. Schulhof, 2012|