The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Exhibition focuses on exploring the role of the city in Jean Dubuffet's work
Jean Dubuffet, La rue, 2 November 1980. Oil on canvas, 102 x 140 cm / 40 1/8 x 55 1/8 in. Fondation Dubuffet, Paris. © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2018.

ZURICH.- Hauser & Wirth Zürich is presenting ‘Jean Dubuffet and the City’, an exhibition dedicated to the seminal post-war European painter and sculptor, and his lifelong fascination with urban space. Curated by Dubuffet specialist Dr Sophie Berrebi, with the Fondation Dubuffet contributing research advice, this is the first presentation that focuses on exploring the role of the city in Dubuffet’s four decades of artistic accomplishments, highlighting the artist’s shifting depiction of urban characters, and the visual and experiential dynamism of Paris that influenced his work. The exhibition features over 50 important paintings, works on paper, architectural and sculpture models – including works from series such as the Marionettes de la ville et de la campagne (1943 – 1945), Paris Circus (1961 – 1962), L'Hourloupe (1962 - 1974) and Théâtres de mémoire (1975 – 1979) – which are displayed thematically to demonstrate the artist’s continuous and nuanced engagement with the city.

While Dubuffet’s relationship to architecture is well documented, this exhibition proposes a new interpretation of Dubuffet's work through his depiction of the city's buildings, streets, squares and inhabitants. Paris itself is the predominant subject in these works, and yet the city also reoccurs in Dubuffet's oeuvre as a metaphor for painting itself; a space in which figure and background combine in endlessly evolving permutations that can be repeatedly observed, imagined and represented. In several of the works in the exhibition, the city becomes an endless pattern of forms, suggestive of the material and immaterial networks that run through the urban space. Dubuffet used the spectacular image of a city highway network to explain the workings of the mind in a letter he wrote in 1978: ‘It is impossible not to contradict oneself, just as it is impossible to avoid collisions on paths that have only one slope, but one must organise thoughts following the model of the circulation of cars in Tokyo, with lanes that are superimposed onto one another and on which traffic is organised in different directions.’

To highlight the recurrence of these themes and motifs, the presentation is organised in three parts. The first room, ‘City Dwellers and Urban Types’ brings together depictions of passers-by and urban wanderers painted from the early 1940s to the early 1980s. The juxtaposition of works executed in vastly different styles makes it possible to identify unexpected convergences between them. The haunting, almost translucent ‘L’Homme aux Cocardes’ (1952) which depicts a figure as both a hero and an idler, contrasts with the energetic ‘Rhéteur au mur’ (1945), while the quizzical yet monumental ‘Le citadin’ (1974) has an affinity with the rarely seen ‘Petit Hurleur’ (1944). In this first section of the exhibition, individual figures alternate with visions of crowds and with pairs of figures, of which two similar paintings from the L'Hourloupe series are exhibited together for the first time: ‘Main leste et rescousse’ (1964) and ‘Époux en visite’ (1964), on loan from Tate and Fondation Gandur respectively.

The second part of the exhibition is entitled ‘City Views and Imaginary Networks' and features paintings from the Paris Circus series that depict the busy streets of the French capital at the beginning of the 1960s, a moment when Paris stood on the brink of modernisation. The quaint shop fronts, facades and bustling traffic of ‘Maison Fondée’ (1961) powerfully conjures up this divergence of old and new. The Paris Circus works are interspersed with huge, complex paintings from the Théâtres de mémoire series in which Dubuffet replicates the dynamism of the city through juxtaposed scenes, images of places and moments.

Dubuffet's extraordinary models for sculptures and utopian architectural structures feature in both the second and the third section of the exhibition entitled ‘Sites and Architecture’. Three key works on loan from Fondation Dubuffet, Paris reveal the artist’s interest in the fabric of the city itself and his consideration of the built environment: ‘La Rue’ (1971 – 1974), ‘Le Cirque’ (1970), ‘Rues et Immeubles de la ville’ (ca. 1969). The notion of site, which predominates in the titles of Dubuffet's later works, invites viewers to pause and consider the urban space around them, in the manner of the pensive figures in the work ‘Site aléatoire avec deux personages’ (1982). Two compelling works dating from 1957, ‘Chaussée grise’ and ‘Chaussée urbaine mouillée’ both depict, with dizzying effect, the pavement under our feet inviting closer scrutiny of the very fabric of the city. The discovery of Dubuffet’s shifts in vision, from representation to imagination and from evocation to construction of an urban imagination allows for a renewed understanding of the artist's oeuvre and the significance of the city.

Today's News

June 10, 2018

Scans reveal newsprint, second painting under a Pablo Picasso painting

Exhibition focuses on exploring the role of the city in Jean Dubuffet's work

Russia orders Gulag records destroyed: researcher

Koller Auctions is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year with special anniversary auctions

LACMA announces beta release of Collator, a new way to create print-on-demand art books

Exhibition showcases more than three decades of Takashi Murakami's paintings

Clark Art Institute is exclusive venue for exhibition of wrought iron objects

Lessons in loathing at North Korea's museum to 'US atrocity'

Marc Straus opens an exhibition focused on the seated object central to a work of art

Victoria Miro opens exhibition of works by Sarah Sze

Polish folk instrument revival brings lost music to life

Major exhibition focuses on the renowned art gallery and meeting place Signals London (1964-66)

Mounir Fatmi's first major Scandinavian solo exhibition opens at Göteborgs Konsthall

Japanese artist Keita Miyazaki's first solo show with Rosenfeld Porcini on view in London

Des Moines Art Center organzes first museum exhibition of ceramic works by L.A.-based artist Sterling Ruby

Latvian National Museum of Art opens solo exhibition by Latvian textile artist Egils Rozenbergs

Garment District unveils new Broadway Urban Garden & 400-foot-long road mural

Short first innings at museum for Kohli wax statue

The South London Gallery opens Brazilian artist Luiz Zerbini's first major solo show in the UK

Gazelli Art House opens exhibition of works by James Ostrer

Drawing Room in Hamburg exhibits works by Rona Kobel

TextielMuseum opens exhibition on Scandinavian furniture, textiles and interior products

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful