Galerie Nathalie Obadia is delighted to present hyberDUBUFFET, an exhibition conceived in close collaboration with the Fondation Dubuffet. Simultaneously held in our two Parisian galleries, the exhibition is a carte blanche to its curator Fabrice Hyber.
Following a joint reflection with director of the Fondation Dubuffet Sophie Webel as well as conversations with curator of the Centre Pompidou Françoise Guichon, Fabrice Hyber proposes to open a dialogue between Jean Dubuffet’s work and his own.
Thanks to several pieces on loan from the Fondation Dubuffet and the kind contribution of private collectors, the hyberDUBUFFET exhibition features a wide range of major artworks along with more intimate ones from diverse periods of the artists’ respective careers.
I have brought the project of a hyberDUBUFFET exhibition to the foundation members to stand in contrast with the more and more frequent confrontations of the works of two artists staged by museums and galleries. In some cases, this type of crossed presentations makes sense –especially in regard to history (and we ourselves used this approach for the Chaissac/ Dubuffet exhibition when their correspondence was published)- but most often, it comes down to a mere –sometime very well put up- scenography centered on formal similarities.
The hyberDUBUFFET project is of another kind. The connections we draw here are not formal (or very rarely) but based on Fabrice Hyber’s intuition that his way to “think art” echoes that of Dubuffet. We gave him carte blanche for the selection of artworks and interfered very little in the matter, except to precise their place in the evolution of Dubuffet’s oeuvre.
Beside, for a foundation like ours, and more than thirty years after the artist’s death, it is crucial to open up to the new generation. While that of researchers and curators already found its way to the rue de Sèvres, inviting an artist to give a fresh look on Dubuffet’s work has always been in our plans.
Since we cannot hold this exhibition within our walls, the magic has happened the other way around and Dubuffet was invited by the artist!
For he who fought against the “suffocating culture”, how not to be enchanted by this dialogue opened with Fabrice Hyber, an equally free-minded and unconventional spirit?
Director of the Fondation Dubuffet
«...RENOUNCE YOUR IDEA OF A REALITY TO WHICH YOU WOULD HAVE TO DEFER. REALITY WILL BE WHAT YOU WANT IT TO BE. NOTHING CAN EXIST OUTSIDE OF WHAT YOU WANT TO THINK. YOUR MIND HAS THE POWER TO GIVE EXISTENCE AND REALITY. FREE YOURSELF FROM ALL THE ACQUIRED NOTIONS THAT TAUGHT YOU OTHERWISE.»
(Jean Dubuffet, « Oriflammes » 1984 - excerpt)
« The surprises of matter
hyberDUBUFFET is an intuition of Françoise Guichon (founder of CIRVA and Design Curator at the Centre Georges Pompidou). As she talked to hyber, often associated with Gaston Chaissac (as they are two Vendean artists), the analogy began to extend.
The hyberDUBUFFET exhibition held in the two Galerie Nathalie Obadia from May 18th to July 13th 2017 highlights the many parallels between the works of these two artists.
Both hyber and Dubuffet deeply care about inventing a permanent space of creation and innovation (Robert Filliou and his concept of “permanent creation” would be another of hyber’s references.)
They both engage in compulsive activities: brainstorming for hyber and entangling forms for Dubuffet.
As their work developed, they created systems that multiply the back and forth between matter and image, the two feeding on each other.
Besides, both have an intense and abundant production. Because of the diversity of their creation spanning over a wide range of media and practices, the two artists quickly created an encyclopedia raisonné (for hyber) and a catalogue raisonné (for Dubuffet) of their work. The clear presentation of their artistic universe goes hand in hand with an earthly and pragmatic desire to understand everything, and control the production and diffusion of their work.
The frequent contacts and visits at the Fondation Dubuffet aroused true enthusiasm around the initiative and made it come to life. Nathalie Obadia then suggested welcoming the project in her two Parisian galleries, and offering hyber the opportunity to curate an exhibition that would reveal the tensions-and fictions?- at work between the two artists.
Hyber imagines attitudes and projects, and fabricates the elements to make them possible. Through his various researches as well as the company he created at the beginning of the 1990s, he seeks to push the limits of art through the invention of systems allowing for new ways of creation.
As for Dubuffet, he rejected the establishment of “cultural” arts and produced a work on the fringe of conventions, inspired by his research on Outsider Art. Praising an art created by ordinary men, Dubuffet treated the city like a playground.
For hyber, this exhibition is a place of research and encounter of his oeuvre with that of Dubuffet. Hyber shows us when his work and Dubuffet’s meet in the same extreme gestures, denying all resemblance with familiar artistic forms. In both artists, an uninterrupted harmony exists between language and matter, as well as a constant staging of their two levels of action.
For them both, the image is real and “the virtual is part of reality” (hyber).
Hyber conceived the exhibition of his work in relationship to Dubuffet’s from dialogues that suggest possible openings or speculations that characterize their methods. These sometime startling juxtapositions are inspired by the desire to identify research steps, the creative process in which intuition gives life to forms that spark other intuitions... as the work feeds on itself.
The exhibition becomes an experimental field where the artist searches for a balance constantly threatened by the surprises of matter.
Through formal and functional parallels, hyber offers a new reading of Dubuffet’s work through the prism of scenario or workshop. He therefore brings us beyond the usual boundaries of art, like Dubuffet did in his time. By doing so, he seeks to shed light on Dubuffet’s influence on the methods of our contemporaries.»