Monday, October 3, 2016

DUBUFFET DRAWINGS: Magical and Childlike at The Morgan Museum: Review by Polly Guerin

The Swindle  1962 Gouache on Paper
"Anyone can be an artist," declared French artist, Jean Philippe Dubuffet (1901-1985). "Look at what lies at your feet. A crack in the ground, sparkling gravel, a tuft of grass, some crushed debris, offer equally worthy subjects for your applause and admiration."  Dubuffet invites us to tap into our childlike wonder and express ourselves with the exuberance of discovery, and serendipitously create enchanting works of art. His imaginative ouevre clearly indicates that he was attracted by the art of children and the mentally ill, and did much to promote their work. Subsequently, he was a forerunner in the Art Brut genre. So is Dubuffet relevant today? 
VisageRougetVisageBleu, Dubuffet's Le Metro series 1943
 DUBUFFET Drawings, 1935-1962.  You have an opportunity to find out at The Morgan Library & Museum where the exhibit of Dubuffet's drawings and collages challenge us to observe our world with amusement, patios and wicked frivolity.  The exhibition , the first museum retrospective of Dubuffet's drawings---includes about one hundred works from his most innovative years, borrowed from private and public collections in France and the United States. He achieved international recognition in the late 1940s for his paintings inspired by children's drawings, the art of psychiatric patients, and graffitti. Dubuffet's early works, thus inspired by outsiders, was also shaped by the interests in materiality that preoccupied may of the post-war French French artists associated with the Art Informel movement of the 1960s. He created a new graphic style, which he called 'Hourloupe,' and would use it in many important public commissions. While the public after post-war Paris looked for the restoration of old values, Dubuffet confronted them with childlike images that satirized the conventional genre of high art. Drawing played a major role in the development of his art as he explored on paper new subjects and techniques.
THE ARTIST IN SPITE OF HIMSELF Dubuffet wavered for many years between painting and working in his father' wine business and did not seriously think  about painting until well into his 40s.  In Visage Rouge et Visage Bleu he seemingly pokes fun at the Parisian subway riders during the German occupation with the red, the color of rage, silenced by blue, the color of  communication. The formality of the occupants' silly hats allude to their stoic attitude of resignatio
Dubuffet's JAZZ BAND

JAZZ BAND lightens up the mood and evokes the nightclub
darkness and escape into the night. Dubuffet gave his critics coarse textures and drab colors, which was likened to dirt and encrement.
    Several lectures and discussions accompany the exhibit. DUBUFFET IN CONTEXT on October 28, l:30-5:30 pm, Film: The Artist's Studio October 21 at 6:30 pm, 7:15 pm and 8 pm.
Gallery Talks take place October 14 and December 2. Contact:
TaTa Darlings!!!  It is wonderful to know that we all can experience artistic expression,  if  only we would just set some time aside from our electonics and the look at the world around us with rose-tinted glsses.  Fan mail always welcome at Vist Polly's Blogs at and click in the left-hand column where you will find links to Blogs on visionary men, women determined to succeed, poetry and even fashion.

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