Phillips Hong Kong to Offer Le Chien Rôdeur by Jean Dubuffet, Founder of Movement Art Brut

In Phillips’ upcoming 20th Century and Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale, one of the high-valued lots offered is a painting by French painter Jean Dubuffet. The Value has invited Isaure de Viel Castel, Phillips’ Head of 20th century and Contemporary Art Department, to talk about Dubuffet’s Le Chien Rôdeur from the sale.

Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) was a self-taught painter. He was a merchant at first and took up painting at his mid age. He was best known for founding the movement Art Brut, an art by self-taught art makers or artists who have little or no professional art training.

The left one is a work by Dubuffet and the right one is by Basquiat

Dubuffet was doing abstract and graffiti-like works during his last period while at the same time, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), at the age of 20 something, was also painting his graffiti works. So there is a link between them. Though Jean Dubuffet was in his eighties, he was still considered a cutting-edge artist as he constantly sought new inspiration and ideas by looking at the world with fresh eyes.

The present work, Le Chien Rôdeur, was created in 1955. At that time, Dubuffet's wife was severely sick and they had to move to a place with fresh air and warm temperatures. So he was moving to the south of France and settling in a small city there. He often walked around and looked at what was happening around him for inspiration.

That’s how he conceived this work. When you look at this work, you can see Dubuffet paid a lot of attention to painting the ground, which covered almost three-quarter of the convas. And the dog, it is called Prowling Dog in English. This work is a scene of his daily lives.

A painting by Gerhard Richter

What’s really interesting about this work is the technique he used for painting the sky. When you take a closer look at it and choose a small piece from it, it reminds you of German artist Gerhard Richter’s style.

Isaure de Viel Castel, Phillips’ Head of 20th century and Contemporary Art Department

In the late 40s and early 50s, Dubuffet was influenced by graffiti. He took very thick paint and drew it on canvas, like he was craving a drawing onto a wall. That’s why his paintings share some resemblances to crave paintings as well.  

Dubuffet’s works have mostly been acquired by important European collectors, but they are not widely known in Asia yet. But in the recent years, we have seen a bloom in the market for Dubuffet paintings. The value of some of his works from other periods are underestimated. The painting is estimated at HK$7m-9m (US$897,000 - 1,150,000). It is a good choice whether you are buying it for investment or collection

In the next article, Marcus from Phillips will pick another highlight from the sale. He is going to talk about an armchair designed by Finn Juhl. Please stay tuned!

Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985). Le Chien Rôdeur.

Lot no.: 6
Created in: August, 1955
Size: 81 x 99.3cm

  • Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York
  • Mr. and Mrs. Arthur J. Kobacker Steubenville, Ohio
  • Sotheby's Parke-Bernet, New York, 28 October 1970, Lot 64
  • Dr. Irving Stoner (acquired at the above sale)
  • Robert Elkon Gallery, New York (acquired from the above in 1975)
  • Marisa del Re Gallery, Inc., New York
  • Waddington Galleries, London
  • Mr. and Mrs. George Bloch, Hong Kong
  • Private Collection, Connecticut
  • Sotheby's, New York, 8 November 1994, Lot 42
  • Collection Stanley J. Seeger (acquired at the above sale)
  • Sotheby's, New York, 8 May 2001, Lot 35
  • Private Collection (acquired at the above sale)
  • Phillips, London, 14 February 2013, Lot 18
  • Private Collection, Geneva (acquired at the above sale)
  • Acquired from the above by the present owner

Estimate: HK$7,000,000 - 9,000,000

Auction details

Auction house: Phillips Hong Kong
Sale: 20th Century and Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale
Venue: Mandarin Oriental, Central
Lots offer: 70
2018/5/24, 25, 27|10:30am - 6pm
2018/5/26 |10:30am - 7pm
Sale: 2018/5/27|6pm