Jean Dubuffet, Baba Solstice, 1961, gouache, watercolor, brush, pen and ink, and pencil on paper, 55 x 67cm, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.
Jean Dubuffet was free and frank in his crafting of the image. He brought marginal forms and styles into the mainstream in a way that was both humble and celebratory. He was the artist insider acting as medium for the outsider. This painting, presented here in acknowledgement of yesterday’s Summer Solstice, at first seems childlike and wilful. But as we look closer we see words written on the buildings that sit rather uncomfortably with the crayony chaos going on in front of them. The 2D people are embryonic, partially-formed; perhaps they are limited by this, or perhaps they are full of potential in this scene of chaosmosis. DH