The relationship, protracted over time, at times tormented and always renewed, between Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) and Venice comes from a far: it must, in fact, go back to 1949 when the publisher Bruno Alfieri invited him in a project that was shipwrecked for the decidedly “counter-cultural” positions of the artist. Then followed the 1964 exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi Theater and then the famous participation in the French National Pavilion in 1984. Dubuffet is now again the protagonist of a great Venetian exhibition which, at Palazzo Franchetti, celebrates not only his research, but also the fascinating history with the lagoon city.
This exhibition, to be noted among the most interesting events presented in conjunction with Biennale, takes the visitor on a journey that grants the completeness of the vision of his thought: in dialogue with the precious and peculiar environments and spaces of the Venetian palace, they unfold, in fact, masterpieces that cover the entire time span of his creativity, crossing the decades since the immediate postwar period, with the most informal works of the 1950s, to then arrive at the famous Mireof the last few years in which the chromatic sign always becomes stronger and more expressive.
The exceptional care of this project - which exhibits, in addition to paintings, sculptures and papers also important archival documents - is that, in the sign of a renewed reading of his pictorial experience of which the vibrant energy and a lively topicality are still attested, to bring back many of the works that had already been proposed in 1964 and 1984, redefining, but with a different exhibition concept, the peculiar qualities of Dubuffet's language in a place where, like Venice in conjunction with the art biennale, it becomes internationally and institutionally relevant to the contemporary artistic-cultural debate.
The solicitations offered by the historic Venetian residence, with the canonical furnishings and decorations, the targeted and careful choices of the masterpieces on display re-propose, emphasizing them in the contrast, the strong positions assumed by the artist throughout his life. First theorist of Art Brut, his ideas have, in fact, materialized through a "disengaged" painting, bold and unrestrained, capable of its own and intimate automatisms, strong of an expressive stamp that declares its unconventionality and celebrates, in this way, his own expressive freedom disconnected from the conceptualisms and formalisms dictated by the art system.