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Émile Ratier

1894-1984 (France)

Ratier was a former timber merchant, whose hobby of whittling toys evolved into a major sculptural practice. Ratier’s subjects drew from his farming background and his love of architecture, yet did not reveal that he was in fact blind, carving entirely by touch and sound. Dubuffet was introduced to Ratier by critic Gaston Puel and acquired several works for the collection, including a kinetic Eiffel Tower several metres in height.