J. Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901-1985)
Situation LXXXXI (a l'arbre)
Signed and dated "J.D. '79" l.l., titled on labels from Pace Gallery, New York, and Hokin Gallery, Palm Beach, affixed to the reverse.
Ink on paper, 13 3/4 x 10 in. (34.9 x 25.3 cm), framed.
Condition: Minor toning.
Provenance: Purchased from the Hokin Gallery c. 1979-80, then by gift to the current private Massachusetts collection.
N.B. This is a later work by the French painter, sculptor, and writer Jean Dubuffet. He is best known for canvases painted in a purposefully naïve and confrontational style, which caused quite a scandal when he first began to exhibit them just after World War World War Two. Dubuffet was reacting against the professionalization of art and what he saw as the stifling conformity of "high" culture. Instead, he channeled the raw emotional spontaneity of untrained artists, children, and the mentally disabled. Dubuffet created incredibly tactile, almost formless figurative paintings that assaulted the very notions of Western beauty and harmony. For his radical style and ideas, Dubuffet gained much critical attention during the 1950s.
Purportedly inspired by a doodle he made while on the telephone in 1962, Dubuffet began creating new work in the style he called Hourloupe. He would fill entire pages or canvases with fluid scribble-like lines in densely packed, all-over compositions. Dubuffet explained that these forms evoked the manner in which objects appear in the mind; a crowded jumble of images and emotions. As he continued to experiment, Dubuffet did not limit himself to two-dimensional surfaces, but extended his running lines to three-dimensional sculptures and entire environments. This style would preoccupy Dubuffet for decades, and this drawing, executed on February 14th 1979, is a perfect example. This work is listed as #264 in Max Loreau, Catalogue des traveaux de Jean Dubuffet, Fascicule XXV: Arbres, murs, architectures (Weber, 1974), "fascicule XXXII: Théâtres de mémoire," p. 140.
No further condition issues to report.
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