“THE TOWER IS 24 METERS HIGH”: DUBUFFET’S EDIFICES, INSCRIBED BY THE ARTIST
DUBUFFET, Jean. Jean Dubuffet Edifices. New York: The Author for the Museum of Modern Art, (1968). Slim octavo, original photographic stiff paper covers. $750.
First edition of this collection of sculptural models, with drawings and photographs for seven projects, inscribed, “À Ellen Granat, les sentiments de sympathie et saluts chaleureux de Jean Dubuffet.”
“Dubuffet was the most important and outspoken French artist of the postwar era. A man of uncompromising ideas, his art is linked to the concept he himself originated, art brut, which denotes a spontaneous, unconscious quality… infused with a sense of morbid unease” (Logan, 206, 233). The seven sculptural projects described in this work “can best be understood in the context of so-called ‘junk culture,’ a term coined by the critic Laurence Alloway in 1960 to describe the assemblage and environment-based art that flourished in New York in the period immediately preceding the advent of pop art” (Sophie Berrebi). “Dubuffet wished to draw the public’s attention to the everyday world. Categorically opposed to ‘cultivated art, learned in schools and museums, he was highly critical of the bourgeois consumer society and wanted to show that what man considers ugly can harbor infinite wonders” (Nelly Brunel). “He can always be relied on for a surprise” (Strachan, 214). In 1969, Cleas Oldenburg wrote to Dubuffet, “I have admired your magical art for many years and it has inspired me from the beginning and continues to inspire me.”