What may strike the viewer as a move into abstraction, indeed heralds the very opposite. Ridding the surface from cognitive anchors, Dubuffet confronts us with a pictorial plane that aspires to convey not nothing but the entire possibilities of visual reality as such. The frenetic gestural brushwork, which anticipates the magnificent grandeur and chromatic potency that Cy Twombly would assemble decades later in his legendary Bacchus series, is the only remnant from the primitive iconography of Dubuffet’s previous practice dominated by landscapes and humanoid figures. The exuberant intermezzo of blue and red lines on the tantalising yellow ground unleashes a dynamic exuberance similar to that radiating from Jackson Pollock's Drip Paintings. The subtitle of the present work, Kowloon, refers to the bustling and densely populated urban district in Hong Kong. The scribbles and bold gestures on the picture plane suggest the chaos of the streets, the stridency of noise and the swarm of bodies and energy. The primarily yellow nature of this series also captures the similarity between the colour and the aesthetics of Chinese street signs. At the very end of an iconic oeuvre that revolutionised art by assimilating the raw visual language of outsiders, it is through this gesturally superior imagery that Dubuffet realises his foremost aspiration, to arrive at a painting that defies needs for recognition and association: “A work of art is only of interest, in my opinion, when it is an immediate and direct projection of what is happening in the depths of a person’s being. I feel that our classical art is derivative… It is my belief that only in this Art Brut can we find the natural and normal processes of artistic creation in their pure and elementary state” (Jean Dubuffet cited in: Jean Dubuffet and Hubert Damisch, Prospectus et tous écrits suivants, Volume 2, Paris 1967, pp. 203-04).
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