A strong relationship connects one of the most important French artists of the postwar period, Jean Dubuffet, to the city of Venice. This show, curated by Sophie Webel and Frédéric Jaeger, intends to celebrate and remember the importance of two famous exhibitions that, taking place in Venice, marked the path of the artist. Dubuffet chose Venice twice in order to present his more recent works for the first time: at Palazzo Grassi in 1964 and at the French Pavilion at Biennale of 1984. The exhibition is hosted in the large rooms of the main floor of Palazzo Franchetti, a prestigious Fifteenth Century palace overlooking the Canal Grande, and it is organized by ACP, the company managing the exhibition venue, with the valuable collaboration of the Dubuffet Foundation.
Through the recall of the two historical venetian exhibitions mentioned above, the show at Palazzo Franchetti presents the three most important series of Dubuffet's work: from the Célébration du solto to Hourloupe and then Mires.
The first series dates back to the Fifties when Dubuffet increases his researches about the endless possibilities of the matter. Matériologies and Texturologies belongs to this group. Hourloupe is the core of Dubuffet's research "that guided his previous and following production" as stated by Daniel Abadie. The artist worked on this series between 1962 and 1974 and presented it for the first time at Palazzo Grassi in 1974.
With approximately twenty selected works, this section explores the questioning of the normal perception of the real world using fluid lines constantly changing in viewer's look. His art is crowded, emotionally charged, almost loud, as the word itself "Hourloupe" means (from the French word tourlouper, "to deceive") and capable of creating a brand new universe that penetrates reality. Some interesting sculptures belong to this particular series, as the monumental work placed in the Palace's garden, a rare green space in Venice's heart facing directly the Canal Grande, close to the Academy Bridge.
The exhibition is completed by about fifteen works of Mires, a 1980's series, characterized by vibrant colours and flowing brushstrokes that break the painting's physical limits. These are the works chosen by the artist to officially represent his birth country at the Venice Biennale in 1984. The exhibition is enriched by a chosen selection of drawings, gouaches and documents related to 1964 and 1984's shows and by photographies, letters and articles that witness also the artist's musical experiments.
Therefore this exhibition gives a complete portrait of a real experimenter who had the courage to diverge from traditions perceived as dry and limiting, turning to an emotional and psychological use of painting.