Jean Dubuffet, ‘Rocs et vestiges’, 1951, Sotheby's: Contemporary Art Day Auction

Property in which Sotheby’s has an Ownership Interest (see Conditions of Sale for further information)

From the Catalogue

"One of the chief traits of the western mind is its habit of ascribing to humankind a nature quite different from that of all other creatures, a refusal to identify our nature with, or compare it in any way whatsoever to, such elements as the wind, a tree, a stream—except in jest or in poetic figures. Western man despises trees and streams. He hates the very thought of being like them. The 'primitive' however loves and admires trees and streams. He takes great pleasure in resembling them. He believes in an actual similitude between a human being, a tree, and a stream. He has a very strong sense of the continuity binding all things, especially humanity and the rest of the world. These 'primitive' societies certainly have a greater respect than western man for all the creatures on the earth. They do not see humankind as the lord of other creatures but merely as one of them." —Jean Dubuffet

Courtesy of Sotheby's

Signature: signed and dated 1951; signed, titled and dated Sept. 51 on the reverse

New York, Pierre Matisse Gallery, Landscaped Tales, Landscapes of Mind, Stones of Philosophy: Exhibition of Paintings Executed in 1950 and 1951 by Jean Dubuffet, February - March 1952, cat. no. 22
Tokyo, The Seibu Museum of Art; Osaka, The National Museum of Art, Exposition Jean Dubuffet, January - March 1982, cat. no. 5, p. 31, illustrated in color
Rome, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Jean Dubuffet: 1901-1985, December 1989 - February 1990, cat. no. 41, p. 159, illustrated in color
Avignon, Palais de Papes, Dubuffet: "Hauts lieux:" paysages 1944-1984, June - October 1994, p. 48, illustrated in color

Georges Limbour, "Jean Dubuffet," L'Oeil, No. 25, January 1957, p. 39, illustrated
Giuseppe Raimondi, "L'art - le 'travail' de Jean Dubuffet," Art International, Vol. III, New York, 5 June 1959, p. 25, illustrated
Max Loreau, Ed., Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubuffet, Fascicule VII: tables paysagées, paysages du mental, pierres philosophiques, Lausanne 1967, cat. no. 85, p. 60, illustrated
Paintings Beyond Painting: 20th Century III, Tokyo 1993, no. 4-4, p. 84, illustrated in color

Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner

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