Jean Dubuffet (b. 1901, Le Havre, France; d. 1985, Paris) began painting at the age of seventeen and studied briefly at the Académie Julian, Paris. After seven years, he abandoned painting and became a wine merchant. During the thirties, he painted again for a short time, but it was not until 1942 that he began the work which has distinguished him as an outstanding innovator in postwar European painting. Dubuffet looked to the margins of the everyday—the art of prisoners, psychics, the uneducated, and the institutionalized—to liberate his own creativity, coining the term “Art Brut” as a reflection of the creative possibilities outside the conventions of the day.. His paintings from the early forties in brightly colored oils were soon followed by works in which he employed such unorthodox materials as cement, plaster, tar, and asphalt-scraped, carved and cut and drawn upon with a rudimentary, spontaneous line.
Pace Gallery is pleased to participate for the first time in TEFAF New York with an exhibition dedicated to the 20th-century master Jean Dubuffet. Pace’s presentation features works from Dubuffet’s series including L’Hourloupe, Sites aux Figurines, Psycho-Sites, and Brefs exercices d’école journalière. Drawing together an incisive selection of Dubuffet’s work across media—including paintings, works on paper, and sculpture ranging from 1965 through 1981—the exhibition captures the relentlessly innovative and daring spirit that has fueled the artist’s enduring legacy.
In addition to paintings and sculpture from L’Hourloupe, Pace will also present a film of Coucou Bazar—a performance piece that the artist created as part of the L’Hourloupe cycle. It contains paintings and objects enlivened by fantastical characters created by Dubuffet. In complement to the film, three performances will take place at the fair on May 2, 4, and 5, when visitors will encounter a character moving throughout the first and second floors of the Armory. The performances at TEFAF mark the first time New York audiences will be able to experience an image from Coucou Bazar since it made its world-premiere in 1973 on the occasion of the artist’s retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
About Coucou Bazar Dubuffet said: “Its author is a painter, not a playwright nor a choreographer; painting is the only inspiration; it is like a development of painting, animation of it. It’s like a painting that would cease to be just a picture to watch, but that would take real existence and welcome you in…”