- Jean Dubuffet
- Paris Plaisir VI
- signed with the initials and dated 64; titled and dated 2 mai 1964 on the reverse
- gouache on paper
Pace Gallery, New York
Galerie Charles Kriwin, Brussels
Private collection, Paris (acquired circa 1980)
London, Mayfair Gallery, Jean Dubuffet: selected works 1943-67, 7 September - 3 October 1970
Detroit, The J.M. Hudson Gallery, Dubuffet, 5 - 28 November 1970; catalogue, p. 2, illustrated
Photo other Dubuffet work: Paris Plaisir I, 1962, Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris © ADAGP, Paris 2018
"The function of art is as much about creating images as it is about naming them."
"La fonction de l'art consiste, autant à créer des images, qu'à les nommer."
Painted at a time when Dubuffet had just left Vence, stopping off at the Touquet before arriving in the capital, Paris Plaisir VI is considered to be one of the essential landmarks between two of the most important series in the artist's career: Paris Circus and L'Hourloupe. Characterized by an extraordinary creative energy and a force of life emblematic of the works from these two cycles, Paris Plaisir VI is indeed the perfect symbiosis of Dubuffet's urban landscapes built on deconstructed perspective and the joyful palette of the first cycle as well as the hypnotic graphic system of the second.
When Dubuffet left Paris for the South of France in the middle of the 1950s, the atmosphere was still heavy. But when he returned after several years of exile, the city seemed transformed in his eyes. It had regained its superb aspect and the mood was consistently good. It was in this state of mind that the artist began Paris Circus. After years devoted to the celebration of the earth in relatively abstract and monochromatic compositions, Dubuffet returned to figuration and colour, painting dense and joyous panoramas often wrongfully associated with cartoons. However they should not be mistaken for childish scribblings. They are instead about an art without artifice, originating in the unconscious or in poetry, abolishing the frontiers of the possible and leading us to a magical state open only to visionaries, mystics, wizards or simpletons. Drawing on popular art that he had always praised to the skies, Dubuffet thus celebrated the human side of large cities, with their signs, roads and cars.
At the turn of the 1960s this dazzling series was followed by another blessed period, that of L'Hourloupe. It was also viscerally opposed to the "great art" of schools and museums, to the fetters of convention. L'Hourloupe which occupied Dubuffet for twelve years from 1962 was absolutely revolutionary. It broke all frontiers between order and disorder, figuration and abstraction, the real and the imaginary.
Paris Plaisir VI is one of the first Hourloupe works, still very close to Paris Circus, and is not only an historical work exemplary of Dubuffet's path but also the inextinguishable proof of his creative genius and his incredibly pioneering and original vision.