" Questioning realities
- that one had believed to be reality- is something invigorating."

When Jean Dubuffet began the Hourloupe cycle in 1962, he was 61 years old and had been painting for twenty years. He lived between Paris, Vence and Le Touquet. After his major retrospective in the musée des Arts décoratifs at Paris (1960), he prepared another for the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1962).

Time to look over on past work: " In all my works, there are two different winds that blow, one carrying me to exaggerate the marks of intervention, and the other, the opposite, which leads me to eliminate all human presence... and to drink from the source of this absence". The Matériologies cycle is completed... Time to return, with Paris Circus, to the celebration of the human, to urban street festivals ... Time to review the Art brut, and the collection is installed in 137 rue de Sèvres, after being in the United States for more than 10 years.

It is this spirit that gave birth, in July 1962, to L'Hourloupe, the longest cycle and most original work of Jean Dubuffet, ending in 1974.

"The word Hourloupe was the title of a small book recently published and in which figured, with a text in jargon, reproductions of drawings using red and blue ballpoint pens. I associate it, by assonance, to " hurler " (to roar), to " hululer " (to hoot), to " loup " (wolf), to " Riquet à la Houppe " and the title of Maupassant's book " Le Horla " inspired by mental aberration".

"Expected of a painter he opens new pathways to how we look at our daily surroundings(...) But we must realize that what we take for real and we strongly appears as such (as such alone) is nothing more than an arbritary interpretation of things that might as well be substituted by another. The distinction we make between real and imaginary is unfounded. The interpretation of reality, that seems true, irrefutable, is only an invention of our mind, or let's say, an antique invention collectively adopted and which our mind believes. Nothing other than convention. It is not impossible to imagine for the interpretation of the world other decipherments, other schedules than those to which we had done so far full trust. The cycle of works which was given the name L'Hourloupe answers an undertaking of that sort "...

A product of our thoughts

..... " My works preceding this cycle creates sinuous graphics responding with immediacy to spontaneous and, so to speak, uncontrolled impulses of my hand which traces them. These graphics start uncertain, fleeting, ambiguous figures. Their movement unclenches in the spirit of that is in their presence a " suractivation of the faculty of view in their tangles all kinds of objects which make and unmake themselves as the eye moves, thus aligning intimately the transitory and the permanent, the real and the deceptive. The result (...) an awareness of the illusory nature of the world that we believe to be real, which we give the name of the real world. These graphics with constantly ambiguous references have the virtue (...)to question the validity of what we usually regard as reality is in truth a collectively agreed option to interpret the world around us among an infinity of all other options, which would be neither more nor less legitimate "....

Enter into the images

..... "The Hourloupe cycle began with drawings and paintings. After that I felt the need to associate reliefs on these paintings to give them more life and the result is painted and sculpted panels of which the Cabinet logologique is an example. Then I began to want, still in my thoughts, to augment the presence and action of these paintings, to abandon the flat panels and to use materials freely opened into space, sculpted on all faces, which is different. I was then taken by the desire to not only face these paintings while maintaining my feet on the shore of everyday life, but to abandon this shore, to enter into the images, to live them. The result of it is a kind of allusive and figurative architecture, imaginary architecture altogether and not real architecture, but images made in a habitat. See you in them completely surrounded his mental productions and can make its exclusive food." ....

For more:

fascicule XX fascicule XXI fascicule XXII fascicule XXIII
fascicule XXIV fascicule XXV fascicule XXVI fascicule XXVII
fascicule XXVIII fascicule XXVIII    
Jean Dubuffet, 1969 (photo W. Slawny)
<em>Selfportrait II</em>, 1966
Doble page of <em>L'Hourloupe</em>, 1963
<em>Allées et venues</em> (comings and goings), 1965 <em>Tasse de thé VII</em> (Cup of tea), 1967 <em>Rue de l'Entourloupe</em>, 1963 Dubuffet in his workshop,  1967(photo L. Joubert)<em>Cabinet logologique</em>, 1967-1969