Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985)
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more Works from the Collection of Elaine G. Weitzen Sold to Benefit the Elaine G. Weitzen Foundation For Fine Arts
Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985)

Jardin aux Mélitées

Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985)
Jardin aux Mélitées
signed and dated 'J. Dubuffet 55' (upper right); signed again, dedicated, titled, and dated again 'Jardin aux Mélitées to Mrs. David Thompson as a gift for your home Jean Dubuffet 22 mai 1956' (on the reverse)
butterfly wings, ink, gouache and paper collage on paper laid down on paperboard
8 ½ x 12 ½ in. (21.5 x 31.7 cm.)
Executed in 1955-1956.
Mrs. G. David Thompson, Pittsburgh, acquired directly from the artist
Elaine G. Rosenfeld, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1966
M. Loreau, ed., Catalogue des Travaux de Jean Dubuffet, Fascicule XI, Charettes, jardins, personnages monolithes, 1969, p. 95, no. 145 (illustrated).
New York, The Morgan Library and Museum and Los Angeles, Hammer Museum, Dubuffet Drawings 1935-1962, September 2016-April 2017, p. 177, no. 77 (illustrated).
Special notice
Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

Lot Essay

Meticulously pieced together in a kaleidoscope of speckled orange, yellow, and earthen hues, the colors, patterns, and texture of the delicate butterfly wings have been collaged into a display of imagery that replicates the dazzling plume of the garden insect. Jardin aux Mélitées, comprised of butterfly wings, ink, gauche, and paper, translates to ‘Garden of Melitaea,’ one of the species of brush-footed butterflies depicted in the work. Describing the butterflies as “a diaphanous iridescent haze, impossible to analyse and richly luminous,” Dubuffet implores the various properties of the insect to mimic their fragile and unique nature (J. Dubuffet, quoted in V. da Costa & F. Hergott (eds.), Jean Dubuffet, Barcelona 2006, p. 61).

Following a summer spent in the French Countryside in 1953, Dubuffet became inspired by the landscape to create the first of his series of assemblages constructed by objects found in nature such as his beloved butterflies. What drew Dubuffet to the assemblages, was not the inert beauty of objects from the natural environment but instead, the simple experiences and objects that humans have and interact with on a daily basis. The artist was interested in what could be represented in a work of art that would be an “immediate connection with daily life, an art which would start from this daily life, and which would be a direct and very sincere expression of our real life and our real moods” (J. Dubuffet, Anticultural Positions: Notes for a Lecture Given at the Arts Club of Chicago, December 20, 1951, p. 30).

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