Jean DubuffetPersonnage I
Vinyl on paper
Monogrammed and dated lower right
10.63 x 8.27 in ( 27 x 21 cm )
Inquiry - Personnage I, 1964


Fascicule XXI, L'Hourloupe II, p.14


Galerie Artel, Geneva

Private Collection, France

Galerie Jeanne Bucher, Paris

Private Collection, France


Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubuffet, Fascicule XXI, L'Hourloupe II, p.14


Kunst in Freiheit, Dubuffet, Moore, Tobey, Museum des 20 Jahrhunderts, Wien, 1965

Artwork's description

The Hourloupe cycle is the longest and most original of Dubuffet's work, beginning in 1962 and ending in 1974. During the summer of 1962 Jean Dubuffet created a series of drawings with red and blue ballpoint pens accompanied by texts in an imaginary jargon. These works were gathered in a small book that gave its title to the series of the Hourloupe (1962-1974), the longest cycle in Dubuffet's oeuvre. “The word Hourloupe as the title of a small book recently published in which reproductions of drawings in red and blue ballpoint pen appeared with a text in jargon. I associated it by assonance with ‘hurler', ‘hululer', ‘loup', (‘howl', ‘hoot', ‘wolf', ) Riquet la Houppe and the title of the book by Maupassant Le Horla which is inspired by mental bewilderment”, wrote Dubuffet. In this cycle, the artist created pictures that are assemblages of cut out drawings. The painter specified that these are not “collages like those of the Dada, surrealist and cubist movements that constituted juxtaposing elements put together (…) objects not made by the artists themselves and destined for a use that was anything but artistic. The intended effect resulted precisely from the absolutely non-artistic characteristic of these objects and of the surprise provoked by their use in a work of art. My assemblages come from a spirit that was very different because they are paintings made of pieces taken from paintings made earlier by myself for this purpose.”

Fondation Dubuffet

Artist's biography

Dubuffet is a French painter, sculptor and plastic artist, born in Le Havre in 1901. After studying drawing and having a short experience in wine trading in the family business, he turned to his pictorial work in 1942. He is the first theoretician to have given as art style, the name of Art brut, “preferred to the cultural arts” where painting "says better than words". This artist, working in series, exercises a figurative painting, on the border between “the most filthy smear and the small miracle.” His first significant exhibition took place in 1945 in “ Paris Libéré”, exhibiting at the René Drouin gallery.

From 1944 to 1951, this artist caused scandal in Paris, by composing a series of paintings in which we find primitive characters with apparent sexual organs (“Corps de dames", 1950-1951).

From 1951 to 1962, he fixed and partitioned the footprints or even used various materials to describe "the landscapes of the mind" (series of battered pastes).

His work is made up of assemblies, often wrongly described as "collages", sculptures and monuments.

In the 1960s, Dubuffet turned to sculpture and began an important series of sculptures in expanded polystyrene painted with vinyl.

He carried out numerous commissions, such as the Tour au Figures pour l'Ile Saint Germain at Issy Les Moulineaux (1988).

In 1963, a major retrospective paid tribute to him at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which was then visible in Chicago or Los Angeles.

Dubuffet is an iconoclastic artist who has produced an abundant and diverse work. Today, he is recognized as one of the most important artists of the 20th century.

He died in 1985 in Paris.