18 may 2010

Jean Dubuffet (vacas)

Cyclist with five cows, 1943, MoMA

I should say that the sight of this animal gives me an inexhaustible sense of well-being because of the atmosphere of calm and serenity it seems to generate. I can also say that pastures, and even merely the color green -because of the cows, I suppose, by an unconscious association of ideas- has a comforting and soothing effects on me. I wonder if people who are especially subject to anxiety and restlessness experience a happy feeling of a relief at the sight of green pastures?
Vache et leveur (La vache rose), 1943

But this was not always the effect I wanted to produce. Very often I liked to portray the cow as a kind of preposterous Punch, and to use all the elements of the countryside -meadows, trees and others- to create a sort of grotesque theater, a circus of clowns. This was probably the consequence of the same attitude evident in Portraits, in Arabs, in Corps de Dames or in Paysages Grotesques. It follows the same principle I spoke of in the beginning of this memoir, that of setting up more and more obstacles to prevent the objects from being recognized, in order that finally their presence should come as a shock. Although I never consciously thought of it at the time, on looking back I am sure that in transferring their image to a devil-may-care, arbitrary, phantasmagoric world of clowns, I had an obscure idea of conferring on them, by means of irreality, a more intensily alive reality. After all, this is the aim that is sought, and in the best instances attained, in all good clown acts, in all good theater.

Memoir on the development of my work from 1952, por Jean Dubuffet en The work of Jean Dubuffet, MoMA, 1980 p. 103

The cow with a subtile nose, 1954 MoMA

Cow with the beautiful muzzle (La belle muflée), 1954

Cow with a beautiful tail, 1954, Museo nacional, Japón

Spotted cow, 1954

Cow in the dark meadow, 1954

Vache à l'herbage, 1954

La belle encornée, 1954

Vache la belle fessue, 1954

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