Jean Dubuffet: between music and painting
“In my music, I wanted to place myself in the position of a man of fifty thousand years ago, a man who ignores everything about Western music and invents a music for himself without any reference, without any discipline, without anything that would prevent him from expressing himself freely and for his own good pleasure. This is exactly what I tried to do in my painting...” Jean Dubuffet Tommaso Calabro is pleased to announce the exhibition Jean Dubuffet: between music and painting, which will be open from February 5th to March 23rd 2019. Through a dialogue between Dubuffet’s artworks and vinyl records, the show will shed light on the affinities between the art and the musical experimentations of one of the most eclectic artists of the twentieth century. Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) encountered music when, as a child, he started playing the piano. During the 1930s, the refusal of this instrument in favour of the accordion suggests his early detachment from the traditionally noble musical instruments. This initial rejection of a conventional approach to music led Dubuffet to soon develop a strongly anticultural conception of it. At the beginning of the 1960s, the artist started a series of sound experimentations, which sanctioned his refusal of traditional musical conventions. Originated from a collaboration with Danish painter Asger Jorn, and later conducted independently or with other musicians and intellectuals, these musical experimentations consist of recordings on magnetic tape, where instruments of all sorts (classical and exotic, wooden flutes, tambourines, chimes, guitars etc...) produce syncopated rhythms, independent from any written sheet music. When employed, the human voice is used freely, independently from the classical rules of harmony and melody. In his musical research, Dubuffet aspired to replace usual melodic arrangements with a profusion of indistinct sounds, which blend and overlap. His panting is “brute” and so is his music: they are not objects of aesthetic contemplation, but rather sensory suggestions.