Jean Dubuffet, ‘ALGEBRE DE L'HOURLOUPE ’, 1968, Alpha 137 Gallery
Jean Dubuffet, ‘ALGEBRE DE L'HOURLOUPE ’, 1968, Alpha 137 Gallery
Jean Dubuffet, ‘ALGEBRE DE L'HOURLOUPE ’, 1968, Alpha 137 Gallery

Here is the rare, original first edition set of 52 limited edition silkscreens on card stock, each titled in French on the back of the card along with the title silkscreen. It is held in the original cardboard slipcase with screenprinted title on cover. Here - Dubuffet ingeniously takes the format of a deck of cards, with 52 playing cards, but they otherwise don't resemble the cards we know. For the card game "Algebra of Hourloupe" - he creates 52 large silkscreen figures (much larger than a normal set of playing cards, and otherwise unrelated to the suite of cards as we know them), Dubuffet composed - or extrapolated, as he says it - 52 curious and ambiguous figures. His "algebra," however, rests entirely on the spontaneous inventiveness, done in his own hand and distinctive style, which creatd the original lines, shapes, and images for these "cards". They thus reveal a dog, a clown, a rocket or two entwined people only to better conceal them immediately in order to drive the imagination in another direction. Algèbre de l'Hourloupe is a wonderful, fantasy deck of cards from Dubuffet's rich imagination. There is overall grubbiness and agewear and corner bumping, time staining staining, etc. to the exterior vintage box -- definitely vintage, but sturdy -- but the 53 silkscreens housed inside are in very good condition, with no bending, staining etc. A wonderful, whimsical and quirky piece of art historical ephemera - and a great value, as these 52 silkscreens can be laid side by side and framed as one composite -- or held in the box as a wonderful conversation piece. RARE.

Bibliography: Reproduced in "Jean Dubuffet: The engraved work and books Illustrated "by Sophie Webel, Vol. II, Editions Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Paris, 1991, pages 1048 and 1049 (2 plates) and in "Catalog of the works of Jean Dubuffet - Volume 22, Maps, Utensils", by Max Loreau, Paris, 1972, pages 160-161.

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Signature: unsigned

Publisher: Editions Jeanne Bucher, Paris

Bibliography: Reproduced in "Jean Dubuffet: The engraved work and books Illustrated "by Sophie Webel, Vol. II, Editions Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Paris, 1991, pages 1048 and 1049 (2 maps) and in "Catalog of the works of Jean Dubuffet - Volume 22, Maps, Utensils", by Max Loreau, Paris, 1972, pages 160-161.

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About Jean Dubuffet

In his seminal modernist paintings, Jean Dubuffet delved deep into questions of ground and materiality. Such themes were highly charged during the post–WWII period in which he worked, shortly after the destruction of many European cities as well as the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the war. The surfaces of his canvases are thick and clotted; their aesthetic is muddy and scatological. Dubuffet coined the term “Art Brut” to describe the kind of work that he collected and aspired toward: the untrained, outsider art of alienated groups, including children and the mentally ill. His own paintings are purposefully “deskilled,” often possessing the spontaneity and crude aesthetic of finger paintings.

French, 1901-1985, Le Havre, France, based in Paris, France