Miss Cholera (Miss Choléra)

Dubuffet’s paintings of the 1940s and early 1950s were a direct challenge to commonly held ideals about beauty, skill, and the elevated status of art. They also demonstrate the artist’s fascination with the particular qualities of his mediums. He proclaimed, “Art must be born out of the material. Spirituality must borrow the language of the material. Each material has a language, is a language.” To emphasize the physicality of his paint, Dubuffet used additives like lime, cement, or sand to thicken his oil paint into a paste he called “haute pâte.” With it, he could create deeply textured surfaces. He sometimes went a step further, inserting found objects such as rocks or rope into the paint, as seen in Miss Cholera.