Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Curated featuring works from “In Its Own Light: Property from the Collection of Ed Cohen and Victoria Shaw”

New York

Jean Dubuffet
1901 - 1985
signed and dated XI 43; signed and partially titled on the reverse
oil on Masonite
17 1/2 by 23 3/4 in. 44.5 by 60.3 cm.
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Galerie René Drouin, Paris
Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner


The National Museum of Osaka, Jean Dubuffet: The Early Works, June - August 1993, cat. no. 2, p. 21, illustrated in color
Avignon, Palais des Papes, Dubuffet: "Hauts lieux" paysages 1944-1984, June - October 1994, p. 30, illustrated in color
Reno, Nevada Museum of Art, Dubuffet/Miro: Selections from the Acquavella Collection, July - September 1997, p. 11, illustrated in color
Cologne, Galerie Karsten Greve, Jean Dubuffet: Bilder 1943-1955, January - March 1999
New York, Acquavella Galleries, Jean Dubuffet "Anticultural Positions," April - June 2016, pl. 3, p. 92, illustrated in color


Max Loreau, Ed., Catalogue des Travaux de Jean Dubuffet, Fascicule I: Marionnettes de la Ville et de la Campagne, Paris 1966, cat. no. 209, p. 115, illustrated


An early and direct manifestation of what was later coined Art Brut, Jean Dubuffet’s early work Paysage Champêtre from 1943 perfectly captures the artist’s unique approach to painting during the 1940s and 50s. Executed in 1943 at the very beginning of his career, this work both challenged modern artistic conventions in Europe during the time, and served as an early example of what has become Dubuffet’s distinctive and innovative aesthetic.

Art Brut came to define Dubuffet’s rather raw, expressive approach to painting, deconstructing common conceptions of what it meant to be an artist. The present landscape possesses a simplistic quality – a genuine, almost child-like depiction of flat planes lined with trees and a horizon speckled with the warm hues of sunlight. Dubuffet ruptures any sense of naturalistic representation, adopting a deliberately naïve outlook. The message is optimistic – a sun rising over the mountains, a path climbing toward a clear horizon, all rendered with a bright and vivid color palette. Dubuffet counters war and destruction with this consciously rudimentary approach to landscape, while also challenging notions of beauty and skill.

Paysage Champêtre offers only one, broad picture plane, calling attention to the use of line and color and leaving the viewer to imagine the various elements of the scene. Dubuffet sought to challenge the viewer and enable the imagination rather than create literal representations. This work is an example of the artist’s uninhibited and unfiltered artistic expression. “Art does not lie down in a readymade bed; it flees the moment it hears its name; it likes to remain incognito. Its finest moments are those when it forgets what it’s called,” (Dubuffet, 1960, quoted in Jean Dubuffet: Metamorphosis of Landscape, Fondation Beyeler 2016). Dubuffet saw no limits to the expressive potential of landscape painting – his works transcended the rules of perspective and proportion to transform the art form into a malleable concept. His nonconformist approach to making art propelled him into the forefront of Contemporary Art discourse, calling conventional artistic mechanisms into question.

Contemporary Curated featuring works from “In Its Own Light: Property from the Collection of Ed Cohen and Victoria Shaw”

New York