Jean Dubuffet returns to Venice 35 years later

Stefano Castelli, Arte Cairo Editore

Overlooking the Grand Canal, in the garden of Palazzo Franchetti, one of the famous anthropomorphic sculptures by Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) announces the monographic. Inside, after another sculpture at the top of the impressive staircase, a path takes place that evokes the Venetian passages of his career, but which also functions as a retrospective of some of his major cycles, with many important loans. We start from the Célébration du Sol (The Celebration of the Sun) cycle, in which the pictorial material becomes a magmatic metaphor for the ground, mirror of a frank, reinvented relationship between man and the world. We continue with the Hourloupe (The foul language) cycle (exhibited in 1964 in the Dubuffet exhibition at Palazzo Grassi): automatism and randomness come into play. The dense tangle of signs courts instinct, but maintains an extraordinary compositional control. The figures are paradoxical, mocking and poetic, for a total subversion of any pre-established canon. The last stop, before a series of rooms with photographs and documents, is the room dedicated to the Mires, the paintings that the artist presented in the French Pavilion at the 1984 Venice Biennale. Sign and color are released and invade the space, without giving in to rhetoric gestures, but by making structure and deviation coexist.