In 1962, Jean Dubuffet was doodling while speaking on the telephone. When he took a good look at his drawing, he was struck by the simple beauty of a fluid line against a white backdrop. That realization gave birth to his Hourloupe cycle, which would occupy him until 1974. The Hourloupe began with painting and drawing; Dubuffet then added reliefs, to “give them life.” Toward the end of the cycle, small sculptural works from 1970 were executed on an architectural scale, and from five magnificent structures a habitable environment was created. Measuring 30 feet square by 13 feet high, Le cirque is about the circle, and circus, of life. —E.C.
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