Dubuffet’s insouciant approach to representation invites the viewer into the surface of the painting and encourages them to untangle the contours of each shape and imagine a mental landscape of their own. Dubuffet’s Sites were not drawn to represent a particular place, but instead refer to the concept of space. For the artist, these abstracted renderings were more effective in rendering reality than a literal depiction could ever be. "[The Sites] heighten the evocative power of the place portrayed…”, Dubuffet explained, “the presence of a human figure gives the place the necessary existence and vitality without which it might remain to the observer merely a network of incomprehensible planes and lines. The figures have the function of a catalyst that triggers the imagination" (Jean Dubuffet cited in: Exh. Cat., Salzburg, Museum der Moderne (and travelling), Jean Dubuffet, 2003, p. 252).
The influence of this series on the contemporary art production of today can be seen in Richard Prince’s Hippie Drawings (1997-2000) which many consider as a cross between Dubuffet and Basquiat. Dubuffet’s “art without antecedents” has certainly set a precedent for generations to come who cannot fail to acknowledge his unparalleled contribution to modern and contemporary art.
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