With flickering, ecstatic streaks, whorls and smudges, Jean Dubuffet’s Donnée, 1984, marks the artist’s full shift towards abstraction. Like the trailing embers of a fireworks display, sumptuous red, yellow, blue and white flash, whizz and race against a dense black background. Donnée is part of Dubuffet’s Non-lieux, his final series which emerged out of the Mires (Patterns) works of the previous year. If the Mires proposed a new outlook on the representation of the world, then the Non-Lieux further deconstructed the frames of understanding and meaning making. These paintings are governed by a deliberate rejection of spatial and temporal reference points, and such dislocation is reinforced by the series’ title, Non-lieux, which can be translated to non-places or non-happenings. Non-lieux is a figurative construct that also speaks to actually interstitial spaces such as airports and motorways – the places in-between that hold no significance themselves. Confronting a supposed objectivity, the Non-Lieux, as Dubuffet said, ‘proceed from the idea that our world - the division that we make in nameable things - is false’ (J. Dubuffet quoted in M. Thévoz, Dubuffet, Lausanne, 1986, p. 260). Art, as Dubuffet came to understand, was a ‘loop-hole’ and a means of freeing oneself from social conditioning, a fitting sentiment from an artist whose career was devoted to capturing reality in its rawest state (J. Dubuffet quoted in M. Thévoz, Dubuffet, Lausanne, 1986, p. 260). Fascinated by the multiple and unknowable ways the mind can perceive an object or a place, Dubuffet sought to ‘represent things as we think them rather than as we see them’ (V. da Costa and F. Hergott, Jean Dubuffet: Works, Writings and Interviews, Barcelona 2006, p. 91). In Donnée, his already varied and metamorphosing visual idiom was transformed once again. A radical joy can be found in both the swooping colours and in the artist’s lifelong search for the images of experience.