New York

“De Kooning/Dubuffet: The Women”

Pace | 32 East 57th Street

Though the debate over abstraction versus figuration lost its steam long ago, the paintings of women by Jean Dubuffet and Willem de Kooning of the late ’40s and early ’50s ferociously rage on.

Dubuffet mounted an attack on the bourgeois demand that art satisfy the desire for pleasurable looking in his notoriously anti-cultural and barbaric art brut style. Inspired by the strength of psychopathic art and graffiti and manufactured from mud, sand, and cement, Dubuffet’s “Corps de Dames” (Women’s bodies) series added insult to injury by hideously desanctifying and deeroticizing the traditionally venerated female form. Resurrected from an earthy heap, brutally slashed and scratched and pounded into existence, these anonymous women’s bodies are barren territories rather than real anatomies. If the “Corps de dames” deny the scopophilic instinct to take woman as object and subject her to a curious

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