• 17 May 2018

The international gallery Hauser & Wirth presents an unprecedented exhibition in Zurich. Indeed, it proposes to explore a rarely known aspect of French Artist Jean Dubuffet’s work: his fascination for the urban space.

Building and blue sky

© Pixabay

Jean Dubuffet: a rebellious Artist

Although he was born in 1901, Jean Dubuffet dedicated himself to Art at the age of 41. Indeed, after some years in the army, the painter had a successful career in the wine sector. However, the forty years that followed his beginnings were extremely prolific. He multiplied experimentations: poetry, drawing, sculpture, jazz. As a result he quickly built the foundations of what he would soon call the « animated paintings. » He put together in his Artworks painting, sculpture, dance and theater with live performers. Despite the fact that he belonged to a bourgeois family, he soon adopted a position he qualified in 1951 as “anti-cultural.” In fact, he preferred passion, instinct and violence over reason in his pictorial work. In his studio, the Artist used several unorthodox tools such as gravels or orange peels. His acid and passionate gaze is the angle chosen by the international gallery Hauser & Wirth. Indeed, its dedicated exhibition in Zurich gets back on the fascination the cities had on the Artist.

Jean Dubuffet in 1960 by Paolo Monti

Jean Dubuffet, 1960 © Paolo Monti, BEIC Foundation

The Hauser & Wirth gallery: a major player in the Fine Arts market

The Hauser & Wirth gallery was founded in 1992 in Zurich by Iwan Wirth, Manual Wirth and Ursula Hauser. In 2000, Marc Payot joined the team as a Partner and Vice President. In 26 years, the gallery opened locations in the main Art capital cities: Hong Kong, London, New York, Los Angeles, Somerset and Gstaad on top of its headquarter in Zurich. In fact, Hauser & Wirth represent close to 70 Artists and Estates today. The gallery’s inaugural exhibition took place in 1992 in an Art Deco Villa at the core of Zurich with Artworks by renowned Artists such as Alexander Calder or Joan Miro. This European Modern Art tradition is very present in the gallery’s guiding principles. Indeed, in its new exhibition dedicated to iconic Artist Jean Dubuffet in Zurich, the gallery aims at reviving the passion the Artist had for urban landscapes.

The unique approach of Hauser & Wirth gallery about Jean Dubuffet

For its exhibition dedicated to Jean Dubuffet, the gallery Hauser & Wirth asked Art historian Sophie Berrebi to be the curator. It is the first exhibition focused on the role of the city in the French Artist’s work. In fact, Sophie Berrebi stated: “The city was a crucial source of inspiration for Dubuffet, not only its buildings and streets, but also as a place where mankind could be observed and sought out in all its diversity.” Indeed, the Artist’s series built around the theme of urbanism coincide with the major urban changes that occurred in Paris and generally in France in the 60s and 70s. The exhibition “Jean Dubuffet and the City” includes 50 Artworks coming from Hauser & Wirth’s collections, the Tate Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Fondation Dubuffet. It will take place from June 10th to September 1st 2018 in Zurich.

Jean Dubuffet's sculpture at the Parc de l'île St Germain

Jean Dubuffet’s sculpture, the Parc de l’île St Germain


Read our article about the reopening of the Queen Marie-Antoinette’s house here.

Sources : The Artnewspaper and the MoMA