French painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet in his studio in Paris, in 1976. (AFP/File)
Opening on May 10, "Jean Dubuffet & Venezia" is a tribute to the Italian city where the French artist twice inaugurated artworks during his 40-year career.
Dubuffet staged two major exhibitions featuring world premieres in Venice -- one in 1974 at Palazzo Grassi and the other one in 1984 at the French Pavilion for the art biennale.
Curated by Sophie Webel and Frédéric Jaeger, the new "Jean Dubuffet & Venezia" exhibit presents the three most important series of Dubuffet's work. It features selected artworks from "Célébration du sol", "Hourloupe" and "Mires" -- all hosted in the large rooms of the main floor of Venice's Palazzo Franchetti.
"Célébration du sol" launched a new phase in Dubuffet's work -- during which he began experimenting with more unusual techniques. In the 1950s, he created the relief-like paintings of the "Matériologies" series from crumpled pieces of tinfoil, sand, mica, papier-mâché and plastic pastes.
The exhibition's section dedicated to "Hourloupe" features 20 artworks, including sculptures and abstract paintings characterized by their sinuous lines circumscribing regions of neat color. This cycle -- which Dubuffet started in the 1960s and worked on for more than a decade -- explores the questioning of the normal perception of the real world.
"Jean Dubuffet & Venezia" is completed by a selection of 15 artworks from the "Mires" series, which were exhibited in the French Pavilion at the 1984 Venice Biennale. This cycle is renowned for its vivid, acrylic-on-canvas works and flowing brushstrokes that typify Dubuffet's Art Brut.
The exhibition "Jean Dubuffet & Venezia" will be on show at the Palazzo Franchetti, in Venice, from May 10 to October 20. Now in its 58th edition, the Venice Biennale will open to the public on May 11 and run through November 24.