In 1970, I.M. Pei, the distinguished architect who was selected to design the East Wing of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., contacted Jean Dubuffet about the possibility of the artist creating a monumental sculpture to be placed outside this new building. In 1972 and 1973, in collaboration with Pei, Dubuffet worked on seventeen various figures and experimented with possible groupings. A year later, the artist produced a final maquette for this monument, titled Welcome Parade, consisting of five of the original figures which were each approximately 35in. in height. These figures were Le Facétieux (The Mischevious), L'Accueillant (The Welcoming), L'Incivil (The Uncivil), Rédingoton and Cherche-Aubaine (Looking for a windfall).
Had the realization not been blocked for lack of funds, visitors would have made their way into the new gallery between and beneath forcefully gesticulating Hourloupe allegories soaring to a height of some six meters (about 19½ feet). (A. Franzke, Dubuffet, New York 1981, p. 221)
Cherche-Aubaine was eventually executed at the height of approximately 112in. as part of another grouping called La Députation which was presented at the opening of the National Gallery's new East Building in 1976.