Jean Dubuffet
The Busy Life 1953

Artwork details

Jean Dubuffet 1901–1985
The Busy Life
La Vie affairée
Date 1953
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1302 x 1956 mm
frame: 1318 x 1975 x 59 mm
Acquisition Presented by the artist 1966
Not on display

Display caption

This work belongs to a series that Dubuffet called ‘beaten pastes’ because the main paint layer resembled butter, into which he scratched the graffiti-like figures. He wrote ‘I am at a loss to explain just what it was in these paintings that gave me - that still gives me - such a keen satisfaction. It probably has something to do with the physical pleasure derived from spreading freely, with a large spatula as broad as one’s hand, this beautiful white paste... then letting the long knife wander over the smooth paste, tracing with such perfect ease graffiti of sonorous colours.’

November 2005

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