拍品 11
  • 11


1,000,000 - 1,500,000 GBP
Log in to view results


  • 尚·杜布菲
  • 《全家福:灰、群青、洋紅》
  • signed and dated 1945 on the reverse
  • 油彩畫布
  • 100 x 81公分;39 3/8 x 31 7/8英寸
  • 1945年作


Galerie Pierre Matisse, New York (acquired directly from the artist in 1946)

Dr. Barnes, New York

Maurice E. Culberg, Chicago

Rosenberg Collection, Chicago

Private Collection, Tokyo

Sotheby’s, New York, 16 November 1983, Lot 79 

Pace Gallery, New York 

Private Collection, Europe (acquired from the above in 1985)

Thence by descent to the present owner 


Paris, Galerie René Drouin, Mirobolus, Macadam & Cie - Hautes Pâtes de Jean Dubuffet, May - June 1946, n.p., no. 1 (text)

New York, Pierre Matisse Gallery, Jean Dubuffet: Paintings, January - February 1947, n.p., no. 9 (text)

Chicago, Arts Club of Chicago, Jean Dubuffet, December 1951 - 22 January 1952, n.p., no. 24 (text) 

New York, The Museum of Modern Art; Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago; and Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Work of Jean Dubuffet, April - August 1962, no. 21

New York, Wildenstein Galleries and Pace Gallery, Jean Dubuffet – A Retrospective, April - May 1987

Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Dubuffet, March - June 1993, p. 33, no. 7, illustrated in colour  

Munich, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus; Bern, Kunstmuseum Bern, Mit dem Auge des Kindes. Kinderzeichnung und Moderne Kunst, May - November 1995, p. 185, no. 7.41, illustrated in colour

Mannheim, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Menschenbilder: Figur in Zeiten der Abstraktion (1945-1955), October 1998 - January 1999, p. 168, illustrated in colour

Saarbrucken, Saarland Museum, Jean Dubuffet – Figuren und Köpfe. Auf der Suche nach einer Gegenkultur, September - November 1999, p. 72, no. 4, illustrated in colour

Neuss, Langen Foundation; Munich, Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung; and Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Museum Lothar Fischer, Jean Dubuffet: ein Leben im Laufschritt, February 2009 - January 2010, p. 16, no. 5, illustrated in colour 


Anon., Quelques introductions au Cosmorama de Jean Dubuffet, Paris 1960, n.p., illustrated 

Sydney Tillim, 'Month in Review', Arts Magazine, April 1962, p. 45, illustrated

François Gagnon, 'Un peu d'art érotique chez Jean Dubuffet', Vie des arts, No. 57, Winter 1969-70, p. 23, no. 2, illustrated

Max Loreau, Catalogue des Travaux de Jean Dubuffet, fasc. II: Mirobolus, Macadam et Cie, Paris 1966, p. 16, no. 2, illustrated

Mildred Glimcher, Ed., Jean Dubuffet: Towards an Alternative Reality, New York 1987, p. 40, illustrated 

Andreas Franzke, Dubuffet, Cologne 1990, n.p., no. 3, illustrated in colour 

Exh. Cat., Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, Dubuffet, September - December 2001, p. 365, illustrated (installed in Jean Dubuffet: Paintings, Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York)


Colour:The colour in the catalogue illustration is fairly accurate, although the overall tonality is deeper and richer in the original.Condition:Please refer to the department for a professional condition report.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.


Articulated through a rich painterly arena charged with arresting instantaneity and prismatic brushwork, Jean Dubuffet’s early portrait Ménage en Gris, Outremer et Carmin crystallises a critical moment in the genesis of the painter’s remarkable artistic dialect. Dubuffet’s transgressive spirit and nihilistic aesthetic waged an anti-cultural strike on the stifling artistic conformity of post-war Paris; the present work exemplifies the very origins of this iconoclastic style that would solidify the artist’s legacy in the canon of European painting. Dating to April 1945, Ménage en Gris, Outremer et Carmin holds a decisive place of authority within the influential early body of paintings known as Mirobolus Macadam & Cie/Hautes Pâtes: it is not only the first illustrated work in Max Loreau’s volume of the series, but it is also positioned at the very head of the group as the sole painting executed prior to May 1945. The tremendous import of the present work is further attested by its storied exhibition history. Forty-eight paintings from the series were first exhibited in May 1946 at Dubuffet’s second major exhibition at the Galerie Drouin, where they stirred enormous controversy for their brutish primitive compositions and crude application of materials. Incensed critics like René Huyghe pejoratively compared the paintings to Alfred Jarry and his riotously shocking 1896 play Ubu Roi, unquestionably drawing parallels between their wildly Dadaist sensibilities. Despite its reception, the entire show sold out within days of its opening. One year later in 1947, Ménage en Gris, Outremer et Carmin was notably exhibited in Dubuffet’s United States debut at Pierre Matisse Gallery, followed by prominent inclusion in the artist’s major retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1962.

This double portrait of a couple in grey, ultramarine, and carmine is one of the most enthralling and enchanting paintings from the opening chapter of the artist's illustrious career. Densely painted zones of deep purple, searing orange, and brilliant fuchsia comprise the simplified anatomies of the two rigidly postured bodies, intimately locked together with outstretched palms. Silhouetted against a contrasting background of intricately layered brushwork, the man and woman fill the entirety of the composition with their fully flattened, bulbous figures. Importantly, Dubuffet abandons traditions of three-dimensional perspective, volumetric illusion, and prescribed colour relationships for a more elementary, direct presentation of two-dimensional space. His crudely drawn heads and bodies reflect a childlike sense of wonder and naïveté. The male and female are mirrored in their symmetrical frontal forms, whilst differentiated by primal binaries of gender; with their prosaic anonymity, Dubuffet negates the specificity of portraiture in favour of a more universal humanity. Museum of Modern Art curator Peter Selz noted: “These figures of 1945 to 1946 are shocking only if approached with preconceived notions of classical ‘beauty’. Ugliness and beauty do not exist for Dubuffet as he becomes fascinated with the relation of nature (his material) to man (the emerging image). He loves to make much of the wrinkles, deformations, grimaces of the sitter, but he is by no means concerned with the individuality of the person. In fact, he purposely de-personalizes and is more interested in the common features shared by all men” (Peter Selz in: Exh. Cat., New York, Museum of Modern Art (and travelling), The Work of Jean Dubuffet, 1962, p. 30).

Dubuffet’s magisterial portrait emerges out of the variegated landscape of paint through faceted slabs of sumptuous colour, tempered by the background that encloses the swelling Adam and Eve-like characters within the picture plane. In the context of a Europe ravaged by conflict during the Second World War, Dubuffet’s rudimentary personages resound with exceptional vivacity: the two figures burst forth from the surface of the canvas in their uplifting embrace, seeking solace in the comfort of one another all the while anxiously isolated within their bleak landscape. Here Dubuffet probes the modern human condition through the rawest of emotion, depicting a humble representation of companionship and intimacy beneath the clouds of war. The thickly impastoed surface punctuated by dissonant colours oscillates between the surreal exuberance of the figures and their sombre background, which possesses a textural tactility evocative of the scratched and eroding city walls of the urban landscape that fascinated the artist. In this sense, Ménage en Gris, Outremer et Carmin embodies a critical transition in the artist’s career following the brightly coloured Marionnettes of 1943 and 1944, while directly prefacing the darker earth tones of his coarsely worked Hautes Pâtes, when he started mixing tar, gravel, and sand into his paints.

After the Second World War Dubuffet was confronted with a profound angst and consumed by the need to rid visual art of its affected heroics and cultural inhibitions. Alongside other artists active in Paris in this decade, in particular Wols and Fautrier, Dubuffet championed the emerging movements of Art Brut and Art Autre, embracing an intuitive style that championed spontaneity and uninhibited creative expression, while rejecting traditional Western ideals of beauty and skill. Categorically opposed to "cultivated" art taught in schools and museums, Dubuffet endeavoured to "unteach" himself everything he had learnt while studying painting at the Academie Julian in Paris, and in so doing, rediscovered a potent vision of the world. In his quest to forge an entirely innovative artistic language, one that was unconnected to conventional Western traditions, Dubuffet was especially drawn to so-called ‘primitive’ art, as well as that produced by children and sufferers of mental illness. The artist believed that these modes of visual expression were closer to the truth of the subliminal unconscious, resulting in a more realistic artistic language devoid of unnecessary aesthetic ornamentation. In addition, his subject matter celebrated the banality of everyday things and people, finding inspiration in the fabric of the city. Dubuffet’s preoccupation with quotidian life in Paris, and his commitment to capturing the uplifting resolve of the human spirit in the aftermath of war, is perhaps nowhere more eloquently expressed than in the bewitching moment of tender embrace at the focus of Ménage en Gris, Outremer et Carmin.