Jean Dubuffet, Théâtres de mémoire @ Pace Londres
September 13 - October 21
London—Pace London is honoured to present Jean Dubuffet: Théâtres de mémoire, the first exhibition of Dubuffet’s Théâtres de mémoire series in over three decades and the first-ever exhibition dedicated to the series in London. Curated by Arne Glimcher, the founder of Pace Gallery, and Tamara Corm, Senior Director at Pace London, this exhibition features eight monumental paintings on loan from Fondation Dubuffet and significant British and European institutions. Most of the works have never been seen in the UK before, including Les données de l’instant (1977), Dramatisations (1978), Les commentaires (1978), and Vestiges et devenirs (1976). Jean Dubuffet: Théâtres de mémoire is on view from 13 September to 21 October 2017 at 6 Burlington Gardens.
The Théâtres de mémoire is one of Dubuffet’s most important series of works, and contains some of the largest paintings he has ever made. The series, which Dubuffet started at age 74, also marks one of the last he created. The gigantic collages are composed of overlapping papers, layer upon layer, where he tested their placement by moving the elements, adding, rearranging, and deleting images until an eventual perfect coalescence of the interlocking parts was achieved. This was a new technique for the artist, and a redefinition of his art.
Each work is a vast picture made up of smaller paintings, which Dubuffet cut out and glued to the canvas. He began his process on his studio floor, where he would arrange different combinations of cut-out figures and scenes. He then used magnets to pin the paper or canvas to the wall, allowing him to easily replace one element with another, and to overlap segments until he reached his final compositions. These are the paintings that first interested Jean-Michel Basquiat, who regularly visited the gallery to see any new arrival by Dubuffet.