Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Apartment Houses, Paris

Artist:
Jean Dubuffet (French, Le Havre 1901–1985 Paris)
Date:
1946
Medium:
Oil with sand and charcoal on canvas
Dimensions:
45 × 57 5/8 in. (114.3 × 146.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Florene M. Schoenborn, 1995
Accession Number:
1996.403.15
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 902
In 1923, after reading Hans Prinzhorn’s Artistry of the Mentally Ill (1922), in which the art of the mentally ill was first considered to have aesthetic value, Dubuffet became interested in pictures made by those without formal training—the uninitiated, the alienated, and especially the insane. In 1945, he started a collection of these pictures, which he called "art brut" (raw art). Emulating these works, Dubuffet intentionally adopted a crude style in Apartment Houses, Paris, which depicts pedestrians in the back alleys of Paris. Here, the street, sidewalks, and houses are stacked in rows, one above the other, without perspective, depth, or modeling.
Inscription: Signed and dated (verso): J. Dubuffet / 1946
the artist, Paris (1946; sold in October 1946, for $300, as "Vue de Paris," to Matisse); [Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 1946–47; stock no. 1733; sold on June 7, 1947 to Marx]; Samuel and Florene Marx, Chicago (1947–his d. 1964); Florene May Marx, later Mrs. Wolfgang Schoenborn, New York (1964–d. 1995; her bequest to MMA)

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "The New Decade: 22 European Painters and Sculptors," May 10–August 7, 1955, unnumbered cat. (p. 19; as "Building Façades," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A. Marx, Chicago).

Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "The New Decade: 22 European Painters and Sculptors," September 21–October 30, 1955, unnumbered cat.

Los Angeles County Museum. "The New Decade: 22 European Painters and Sculptors," November 21, 1955–January 7, 1956, unnumbered cat.

San Francisco Museum of Art. "The New Decade: 22 European Painters and Sculptors," February 2–March 15, 1956, unnumbered cat.

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," November 2, 1965–January 2, 1966, unnumbered cat. (p. 54; as "Building Facades, Paris").

Art Institute of Chicago. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," February 11–March 27, 1966, unnumbered cat.

City Art Museum of Saint Louis. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," April 26–June 13, 1966, unnumbered cat.

Mexico City. Museo de Arte Moderno. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," July 2–August 7, 1966, unnumbered cat.

San Francisco Museum of Art. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," September 2–October 2, 1966, unnumbered cat.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Florene M. Schoenborn Bequest: 12 Artists of the School of Paris," February 11–May 4, 1997, extended to August 31, 1997, brochure no. 6 (as "Apartment Buildings, Paris").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painters in Paris: 1895–1950," March 8–December 31, 2000, extended to January 14, 2001, unnumbered cat. (p. 119).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Pierre and Maria-Gaetana Matisse Collection," May 18, 2004–June 26, 2005, no catalogue.

Paris. Mona Bismarck Foundation. "Pierre Matisse, passeur passionné: Un marchand d'art et ses artistes," October 20, 2005–January 14, 2006, unnumbered cat. (p. 103; as "Façades d'immeubles").

New York. Acquavella Galleries. "Jean Dubuffet: 'Anticultural Positions'," April 15–June 10, 2016, no. 10 (as "Façades d'immeubles [Apartment Houses, Paris]").

Georges Limbour. Tableau bon levain à vous de cuire la pâte: L'Art Brut de Jean Dubuffet. New York, 1953, p. 101, ill. p. 30, calls it "Façades d'immeubles".

Lucy R. Lippard in The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1965, p. 54, ill. (color).

Max Loreau. Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubuffet. Vol. 2, Mirobolus, Macadam et Cie. Paris, 1966, pp. 102, 131, no. 154, ill. (color), calls it "Façades d'immeubles" and dates it July 1946.

Carol Vogel. "32 Works of Art by Masters Left to Met and the Modern." New York Times (November 25, 1996), p. C12, calls it "Paris Apartment Buildings".

William S. Lieberman. "Donnés au Met." Connaissance des arts no. 539 (May 1997), ill. p. 72 (color).

Mark Rosenthal in Jean Dubuffet: "Anticultural Positions". Exh. cat., Acquavella Galleries. New York, 2016, pp. 13, 202, no. 10, ill. pp. 104–5 (color, detail and overall), 202 (color).

Anny Aviram and Cecilia Winter in Jean Dubuffet: "Anticultural Positions". Exh. cat., Acquavella Galleries. New York, 2016, pp. 74, 80, ill. (color).

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