The volatile temperament of every line and curve within the present work are an outcome of Dubuffet’s continuous repetition to energetically re-trace the previous gesture in order to rupture its accuracy. Dramatique V is a vivid example of how the artist wanted to reduce the impact of colour within his final series. Monochromes dictate the event and the red and blues are forced into the background where an uncompromising nakedness prevails. The free reign of Dubuffet’s painterly hand over the quaking depth of darkness, illustrates an incomparable field of energy where the viewer’s gaze can focus without forcing a response in representational references. The magic within Dramatique V lies in his articulation of a world that runs parallel to the phenomenon of the visible, producing an abstract universe absent of the human figure. Dubuffet further delves into the ideas behind his Non-Lieux series by commenting “They are intended to depict the fact that the term ‘being’ itself is groundless, an idle projection of our fantasy” (Gallimard, Ed., Jean Dubuffet; Biographie au pas de course, Paris 2001, p. 166).
From 1974 onwards, the later titles of Dubuffet’s series show a transformation in language. Lieux Abrèges, Sites Aléatoires and the series in which we find Dramatique V; Non-Lieux, loosely translate to ‘non places’ or ‘no grounds’ and suggest a motive of mapping the riddle of existence and comprehending the infinity of death. This vision gave Dubuffet a clairvoyant trait, anticipating his departure from the material world and welcoming himself to the void of space and intellect within his work. Dramatique V is a dazzling and engaging work presented in the final series of Dubuffet’s astounding career. At 83 years old, Dubuffet was plagued by ailments during the 1984 series’ creation yet despite his poor health; he was able to produce over numerous striking works. His capacity to dissolve the mind’s failure in distinguishing the material from the ideological world proves Dubuffet’s oeuvre remains eternally vibrant and perpetually versatile.
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