A rare Jean Dubuffet fine art carpet is featured in the exhibition GLORIA F. ROSS: Rebirth of Modern Tapestry, Febuary 15 – March 25, 2011 at Jane Kahan Fine Art.
“Tapis No. 2” was a collaboration that brought together some of the leading forces in the 20th century art, design, and decorative worlds: Jean Dubuffet, the modern artist; Gloria Ross, the tapestry éditeur; Pace Gallery, and the Edward Fields carpet company.
Jean Dubuffet played an essential role in the postwar literary and artistic avant-garde art scene, both in his native France and worldwide. With works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Centre Pompidou, among many others, Dubuffet is considered a master of the modern art world with his vast, eclectic oeuvre and rebellious approach to art. He believed in taking art off of the canvas, and experimented in virtually every medium. Major retrospectives of Dubuffet’s works have been held at numerous major museums, including the Guggenheim and Museum of Modern Art in New York, London’s Tate Gallery, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
Dubuffet worked in “cycles,” exploring a style, theme, or image extensively until moving on to his next source of inspiration. “Tapis No. 2” was produced during his “Hourloupe” period, one of his longest cycles, spanning over 12 years. It is characterized by the use of the emotionless colors of red, white, and blue, punctuated with black lines. It embodies many of Dubuffet’s strongest ideals about art: his concern with two-dimensionality, a sense of commonality and the mundane, and the creation of work that derives from the subconscious, free from cluttered thoughts and oppressive cultural or societal ideals that can impede artistic expression.
Gloria Ross, the second collaborator on this rare and monumental piece, was instrumental in the revival of Aubusson tapestry making. She brought together famous artists and Aubusson weavers, and under her guidance hundreds of modern master tapestries came to fruition. In a few exceptional cases, Ross also collaborated with artists and carpet makers to create modern works in that medium; Dubuffet is the most well known among that small group of artists who created carpets with Ross.
“Tapis No. 2” was made by the Edward Fields company, carpet makers who are perhaps the most well-known in the design industry. Established in 1935, Fields has garnered an outstanding reputation for fine craftsmanship, quality, and beauty. They are synonymous with both the decorative and the artistic, combining a craftsman-like sensibility in the tufting process with an artistic eye for splendor and uniqueness. Edward Fields carpets appear in many important sites, including the White House and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House.
The carpet was published by Pace Editions in New York. Pace was Dubuffet’s art dealer and one of the foremost contemporary galleries of the 20th Century. Another carpet from this edition was part of the IBM corporation art collection.