“When one looks at a painting of this kind, one looks at everything around one with a new refreshed eye, and one learns to see the unaccustomed and amusing side of things.”
Executed in a kaleidoscopic frenzy of color, line, and form, Paysage rougeoyant peuplé de personnages is mesmerizing in its frenetic intensity and captivating in its layered complexity. This work hovers between abstraction and figuration in a manner idiosyncratic of the best of Jean Dubuffet’s praxis – delineating figures seemingly interacting and going about their daily lives with clarity and purpose in some areas, and yet descending into the untrammeled frenzy of linear Art Brut forms elsewhere. Paysage rougeoyant peuplé de personnages vibrates with energy rooted in the Dubuffet’s unique ability to load meaning into his distinctive visual language.
Paysage rougeoyant peuplé de personnages dates from Dubuffet’s Parachiffres, mondanités, lieux abrégés series. The present work immediately follows the artist’s largest series, l’Hourloupe, which occupied him for over a twelve-year span from 1962-1974. Dubuffet first embarked on the earlier l’Hourloupe series while on long telephone conversations where he would find himself creating mindless doodles made up of forms free of all representation. The result of a simple occupation of the artist’s free hand while the other held the receiver developed into a form of graffiti that exclusively occupied the artist’s output for the next twelve years.
Paysage rougeoyant peuplé de personnages, from 1975, is constructed in the same interlocking amoeba-like forms that defined the earlier l’Hourloupe series. Nine distinct figures occupy the space as if buzzing around town, interacting among one another and giving the viewer a tiny glimpse into their personalities even when rendered by Dubuffet’s simple line. Paysage rougeoyant peuplé de personnages encapsulates the climactic aesthetic and compositional feats of Dubuffet’s output at the height of his prolific career. In its simplified yet rich, kaleidoscopic palette, effortless employment of sinuous line and masterful arrangement of compositional space, the present work revels in Dubuffet’s mature artistic vision that not only exemplifies his formal and stylistic acumen but also his dynamic interpretation of cosmopolitan society.