Jean Dubuffet was born July 31, 1901, in Le Havre, France. Despite studying art in his youth, a six month stint at the Académie Julian in Paris Dubuffet didn't commit himself to becoming an artist until 1942.
Dubuffet’s first solo exhibition was held at the Galerie René Drouin, Paris, in 1944. Dubuffet had his first solo show at The Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York in 1947.
From 1951 to 1952, Dubuffet lived in New York. Dubuffet returned to Paris, and the Cercle Volney held a retrospective of Dubuffet's work in 1954. His first museum retrospective occurred in 1957 at the Schloss Morsbroich, Leverkusen. Dubuffet exhibitions were subsequently held at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, in 1960–61; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago in 1962; Palazzo Grassi, Venice, in 1964; the Tate Gallery, London, and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, in 1966; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1966–67.
Dubuffet diversified into writing and his Prospectus et tous écrits suivants, was published in 1967, the same year he started his architectural structures. A Dubuffet retrospectives were held at the Akademie der Kunst, Berlin, the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, and the Joseph-Haubrichkunsthalle, Cologne, in 1980–81. In 1981, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum marked Dubuffet's 80th birthday with an exhibition. Dubuffet died May 12, 1985, in Paris.