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Perceptions Unveiled: Jean Dubuffet and Allan McCollum

Fleiss-Vallois, New York

Artists: Jean Dubuffet - Allan McCollum

Galerie 1900-2000 NYC presents an exhibition pairing the works of Jean Dubuffet and Allan McCollum, offering a look into their shared interest in the notion of perception.

Installation Views

Featured in this exhibition will be works from Dubuffet’s series, Materiologies and Texturologies. This series was first exhibited in the 1959 solo show Celebration of the Ground at the distinctive Galerie Daniel Cordier in Paris. Years later, in 1978, these works, some of which are featured in our exhibition, were included in The Early Years 1943 to 1959: An Exhibition of Paintings by Jean Dubuffet at Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York City.

Dubuffet’s Materiologies and Texturologies series’ showcase the seemingly endless textures, shapes, and colors of the ground and earth’s soil from a bird's-eye perspective, showcasing the artist’s interest in exploring unorthodox materials and subjects, and approaching art from an authentic, humanistic angle while rejecting traditional notions of academic art.

In the preface within the catalogue of the 1959 solo exhibition at Galerie Daniel Cordier, Dubuffet wrote:

Observe that my predilection does not go to picturesque, luxuriously grooved or historic soils, as there are, those which are exceptional and to which for this reason attention is focused; oh not at all! I don't have a taste for exceptional things; In all areas it is the most common and the most banal that suits me best. Never anything exceptional in my work. Anything exceptional is strictly banned from my registry! It’s banality that I crave. The road most devoid of any accident or any particularity, any dirty floor or dusty bare earth, to which no one would have the idea of looking - deliberately at least - (even less painting them) - are for me layers of intoxication and jubilation.

Jean Dubuffet’s works create a dialogue with Allan McCollum’s Perpetual Photo series, which began in 1972 when the artist started photographing television screens any time a framed picture appeared in the background. After McCollum began isolating, enlarging, and framing the photographs, the finished products turned into entirely new images whose subjects became undefinable. McCollum completed these works by adhering photos of the original tv screens to the backs of their counterparts, a defining allusion to the image’s context. McCollum’s inspiration to create the Perpetual Photo series is rooted in exposing humankind’s incessant need to discern any image that appears in front of them, and embraces his skill in institutional critique through creating artworks that analyze mass production and media.

The dichotomy between the object and the image of the object is embedded in both Dubuffet and McCollum’s practices and beliefs. Both artists place great significance on the contradictions between mass produced objects and art, and despite their entirely different methods and time periods, Jean Dubuffet and Allan McCollum blur the boundaries between industrial, artisanal, and artistic production, offering viewers a new perception of art.

This exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated publication, with an essay on Jean Dubuffet and Allan McCollum by curator and former Director of Musée national d’art moderne-Centre Pompidou, Bernard Blistène.

Jean Dubuffet (Le Havre, France, 1901-1985) is considered to be one of the most pivotal painters and sculptors from the Post-War period. As a firm advocate of outsider art, his own approach was highly experimental, rejecting traditional notions of artistic creation. Dubuffet’s work has been featured in major exhibitions at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art and Art Institute of Chicago (1962); Tate Gallery and Stedelijk Museum (1966); and Guggenheim Museum (1966–67). His works can be found in public collections such as the Centre Pompidou, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, among others. Dubuffet’s sculptures are installed in public spaces around the world, including Paris, New York, and Chicago.

Allan McCollum (Los Angeles, California, b. 1944) is an American artist based in New York City. With a focus on mass consumption, his work has explored the layers of meaning within this phenomenon. McCollum has had major solo exhibitions at the Denver Art Museum (1990); Musée d'art moderne de Lille Métropole, France (1998); and Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Geneva (2006) and his work was included in Aperto at the 1988 Venice Biennale and in the São Paulo Biennial (2008). Artworks belong to major collections including the Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Tate Modern, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Cleveland Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Walker Art Center, among others.

all images © the gallery and the artist(s)

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