Brush and black ink, watercolor, and gouache
Support: White wove paper
Sheet: 50 x 33.3 cm (19 11/16 x 13 1/8 in.)
Gift of Mrs. Henry Blazy 1977.51
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
The obsessive repetition of forms and phantasmagoric polychrome apparitions in his Legends series in 1961–62 prefigured Dubuffet’s Hourloupe cycle that began in 1962 and occupied
the artist for the next 12 years. While doodling at the telephone, Dubuffet created the cool, anonymous idiom he identified as the Hourloupe, in which the compositions consist of pockets of intense colors framed by firm black lines. The effect is of a jigsaw puzzle-like mosaic of tightly interlocking cellular forms. Dubuffet’s concern was not to show objects as they might appear in the world but completely flat expressions of the irrational or pre-logical mind. With his Hourloupes, Dubuffet effectively created his own distinct language: a world of fantasy and grotesque figures and shapes that belong only to him.
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