Nez Carotte, from the series Reports d'Assemglages embodies both Dubuffet's fascination with the visual vocabulary of so-called 'Outsider Art' and his unique and unrestrained approach to lithography.
Dubuffet was among the first to champion the 'naïve' aesthetic of artwork by self-taught artists, children, and that of non-industrialized nations. In his important 1951 lecture at the Arts Club of Chicago, he argued for a new direction in Western art that would draw from a natural or untutored style of expression as opposed to the systematic emulation of previous masters and schools that had dominated art pedagogy in the past. The friendly and almost clown-like figure of Nez carotte perfectly embodies his own work in this vein.
Dubuffet extended his interest in an unschooled approach to his choice of technique. Striving to make prints 'without ever touching a brush,' Dubuffet employed a fundamentally innovative method to create the Reports d'Assemblages series: recycling previous images and putting them together to make an assemblage, a term the artist coined for his collage-like approach to printmaking.
Nez Carotte combines a previous stone -- plate XVI from Géometries, a section of the larger portfolio Les phénomènes -- with an assemblage of cut-up transfer papers. The combination of textures, colors, and forms results in a lithograph with exquisite depth. Now an iconic image, Nez Carotte is an outstanding example of Dubuffet's ingenuity and originality.