Jean Dubuffet born 1901 [- 1985]
T00243 L'Homme à la Hotte
(Man with a Hod) 1956
Inscribed 'J. Dubuffet | 56' t.l. and 'L'homme à la hotte | Vence | octobre 55 | J. Dubuffet' on verso
Imprint assemblage, 40 1/4 x 19 7/8 (102.5 x 50.5)
Bequeathed by E.C. Gregory 1959
Prov: E.C. Gregory, London (purchased from the artist at Vence 1956)
Exh: Pictures without Paint, Artists International Association Gallery, London, November 1957 (53); The Gregory Collection, ICA, London, July-August 1959 (7); Gregory Memorial Exhibition, Leeds City Art Gallery, March-April 1960 (9)
Lit: James Fitzsimmons, 'Jean Dubuffet: a Short Introduction to his Work' in Quadrum, IV, 1957, pp.46, 48-9; Jean Dubuffet in exh. catalogue Jean Dubuffet 1942-1960, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, December 1960-January 1961, pp.146-7, 162-4, 173-4; Max Loreau, Catalogue des Travaux de Jean Dubuffet XII: Tableaux d'Assemblages (Geneva 1969), No.73, repr. p.69 (dated October 1956)
Max Loreau has described how Dubuffet's imprint assemblages (assemblages d'empreintes) grew out of a small series of assemblages of butterflies' wings which he had been making at Chaillol in August-October 1953. Once the season for butterflies was over, he began as a substitute to use pieces of paper spotted and mottled with ink, which he usually cut up with a pair of scissors and assembled together. The first imprint assemblages date from October 1953, and from December onwards he began to produce preparatory sheets by taking imprints from sheets of glass or Rhodoid covered with India ink and sprinkled with dust, sugar or other materials of this type.
The first series came to an end in April 1954, then he took up the technique again in February 1955 shortly after his move to Vence and made a second series which sometimes included imprints taken from the local vegetation, grass, leaves, plants collected from the garden, and so on, and also from domestic utensils marked with geometric designs in relief. 'Man with a Hod', which is dated October 1955 on the back but 1956 on the front, is listed by Loreau as a work of October 1956 among a small group of seven imprint assemblages made at Vence in that month which led on to the third series of January-March 1957. One can recognise among its components the imprints of several different types of leaf, including clover.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.181-2, reproduced p.181