Introduction

Mêle moments, 1976, Acrylic on paper mounted on canvas, Private Collection, Courtesy Pace Gallery, © 2015, ProLitteris, Zurich
Le commerce prospère, 1961, Oil on canvas, The Museum of Modern Art, NY, Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund, Foto: © 2015. Digital image, MoMa © 2015, ProLitteris, Zurich
Paysage aux argus, 1955, Collage with butterfly wings, Collection Fondation Dubuffet, Paris, Foto: © Pro Litteris, Zurich
Façades d'immeubles, 1946, Oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Stephen Hahn Family Collection, 1995
Coucou Bazar (Detail), 1972-1973, installation view, Collection Fondation Dubuffet, Paris, Foto: Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris/Luc Boegly, © 2015, ProLitteris, Zurich
Vache la belle fessue, 1954, Oil on canvas, Collection of Samuel and Ronnie Heyman – Palm Beach, FL
Le Voyageur égaré, 1950, Oil and sand on canvas, Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, Sammlung Beyeler, Foto: Cantz Medienmanagement, Ostfildern
Le cadastre, 1960, Silber- und Goldfolie, Pappmaché, Sand und Kunststoff auf Hartfaserplatte, Collection Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NL, Foto: Peter Cox, Eindhoven, NL
Jean Dubuffet – Metamorphoses of Landscape January 31- May 8, 2016

Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985) is one of the defining artists of the second half of the 20th century. Stimulated by the work of artists on the margins of the cultural scene, Dubuffet succeeded in liberating himself from traditions and in reinventing art. Dubuffet’s influence can still be felt today in contemporary art and street art, for example in the work of David Hockney, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

In the first large-scale Jean Dubuffet retrospective in Switzerland this century, the Fondation Beyeler presents the artist’s richly facetted and multilayered oeuvre on the basis of more than 100 works. The exhibition thereby starts from Dubuffet’s fascinating idea of landscape, which in his hands can transform itself into a body, a face or an object. The artist experimented with new techniques and materials, such as sand, butterfly wings, sponge and slag, and thereby created a wholly individual and unique visual universe. 

Ernst Beyeler was deeply impressed by Dubuffet’s art. A close collaboration ensued, which led to the signing of an exclusive agreement with the artist. More than 750 of Dubuffet’s works were sold through the Galerie Beyeler over the decades. Ernst Beyeler’s great interest in Dubuffet is also reflected in the Beyeler Collection, which contains numerous major works by the artist.

Alongside important paintings and sculptures from all the major phases of the artist’s oeuvre, the exhibition is also showing Dubuffet’s spectacular Coucou Bazar, a multimedia work of art combining painting, sculpture, theatre, dance and music.

The exhibition has been made possible by loans from international museums, private collections and the Fondation Dubuffet in Paris and generously supported by Dr. Christoph M. and Sibylla M. Müller.

The exhibition has been curated by Raphaël Bouvier.

Station