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"What Chicagoans don't know about their Dubuffet."

Who renamed this art Monument and Beast?

With limited art knowledge this Jean Debuffet sculpture expression is obvious. You can see bushes, trees and a man. The sculpture has vertical lines and soft rectangular shapes. What you are seeing in the center is the leafy parts of the trees. In a speech given at the Chicago Art Institute, Jean Dubuffet addressed the City of Chicago announcing his work with a detailed explanation.

Jean Debuffet shared with Marc Rubin in Paris,

“For any artist, when the child within

dies so does the art.”

Forest and Conqueror

(original name given by Jean Dubuffet)

Interview with Marc Rubin

In the 1970’s Chicago born artist Marc Richard Rubin was introduced to painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet following Marc’s inclusion into the 1973 Art Institute of Chicago competition exhibition. They became fast friends. Jean’s influence remains in many of Marc’s works and can be seen as early as 1975 in Rubin’s 4ft. by 6ft. cubist work “Chicago.” It was around that time that Jean told Marc the City of Chicago was going to purchase and include his large sculpture “Forest and Conqueror” in its new downtown collection of outdoor public sculpture. Jean shared with Marc his artistic intentions and sculpture technique as an expression for his love of nature and man’s ability to con-quer and tame his raw natural environment for both beauty and sustenance. The Dubuffet’s work graces the plaza at the James R. Thompson (State of Illinois) Building at 100 W Randolph St. Several locations were cited to Jean however

the final choice brought him tremendous pride. The installa-tion was made a short time before Jean Dubuffet passed away. Today Marc Rubin remains upset over the renaming of the master work. Today it is called Monument and Beast a title that is opposite to its original intention. Jean told Marc, “How perfect! I could not have wished for a better location. It tells the story of man conquering the forests of Europe to create beautiful farms. This is the story of Illinois too.” Marc still speaks of the importance of Dubuffet’s series of “natural” works such as “Four Trees” at the Chase Manhat-tan Bank Building in New York City and Dubuffet’s “walled gardens” that were created to give man a place from which he can view the surrounding natural environment.

Vigore -

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