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Jean Dubuffet

Brutal Beauty

A painting by Jean Dubuffet, entitled Paysage aux Argus

An exhibition celebrating French artist Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), one of the most singular and provocative voices in postwar modern art.

Brutal Beauty champions Dubuffet’s rebellious philosophy. Railing against conventional ideas of beauty, he tried to capture the poetry of everyday life in a gritty, more authentic way. This is the first major survey of his work in the UK for over 50 years, showcasing four decades of his career, from early portraits and fantastical statues, to butterfly assemblages and giant colourful canvases. Dubuffet endlessly experimented and was clear on his purpose:

‘Art should always make you laugh a little and fear a little. Anything but bore’.

Alongside his own work, the exhibition features works from Dubuffet’s collection of Art Brut (a phrase he coined, which translates literally as ‘raw art’). Acquired throughout his life, these works, and the artists that created them, profoundly impacted his approach to the making and meaning of art.

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Free entry + guest

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Free entry

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To book members tickets, first log in to your account and then when booking select 'standard tickets'. Your discount will apply on the confirmation page. 

Corporate Membership
Free entry + guest

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Subject to availability

£5

Subject to availablility

14–25? Join Young Barbican for free

Unwaged: £13
Students: £13
NHS staff: £13
Over 60s: £13
Art Fund Members: £9
Under 14s: Free

Access Members: £9
If an Access Members needs a personal assistant for their visit, please e-mail [email protected] to arrange.

ICOM members, please e-mail [email protected] to arrange tickets. 

Our reciprocal agreement with other art institutions is currently suspended.

Discounts are subject to availability. They cannot be combined to make greater savings. Please bring proof of discount status where possible.

Your Visit

A few things to consider before your visit

  • We currently have a reduced capacity and timed entry slots. All visitors, including Barbican Members, must book tickets online in advance.
  • We’re only allowed to welcome visitors in groups if they‘re from the same household or support bubble. Your group must keep a safe distance from other groups when you’re here.
  • Our cloakrooms are currently closed so avoid bringing large bags with you. Long umbrellas will not be allowed in the gallery

Join membership for free entry to all exhibitions

New memberships will be extended, so you'll enjoy a full year of benefits when more of the Centre reopens

School groups

For bookings and enquiries please contact the school groups booking line:
Tel: 020 7382 7211 (Mon–Fri 10am–5pm)

Email: [email protected] 

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