First published: Winter 1996/97
For Alfonso Ossorio and Jean Dubuffet 'the art of the insane and the tormented, the art of the institutionalized and imprisoned, became an art of liberation representing freedom in a claustrophobic world.
The 'formlessness' of Raw Art was as much a confirmation for them, at mid-century, as the traditional formality of African art had been for the Cubists at the end of the [previous] century.'
Dubuffet – who ultimately became more deeply involved with the art of outsiders than any other artist in this century – found the solitary and bizarre creations of clairvoyants, mediums and isolates more inspiring than all traditional forms of art-making. It is generally accepted that Ossorio assimilated his ideological approach from Dubuffet. To a degree Ossorio himself is responsible for this perception, as he steadfastly paid tribute to Dubuffet whose artistic fame outshone his own.