De Mémoire

Created in 1979, Jean Dubuffet's Site De Mémoire series is a compelling series of screenprints on canvas. This series exemplifies Dubuffet’s artistry, featuring abstract, chaotic compositions filled with fragmented figures and forms.

Sell Your Art
with Us

Join Our Network of Collectors. Buy, Sell and Track Demand

Submission takes less than 2 minutes & there's zero obligation to sell
The Only Dedicated Print Market IndexTracking 48,500 Auction HistoriesSpecialist Valuations at the Click of a Button Build Your PortfolioMonitor Demand & Supply in Network Sell For Free to our 25,000 Members

Meaning & Analysis

Jean Dubuffet’s Site De Mémoire series, produced in 1979, is a vivid exploration of memory and fragmentation through the medium of screenprint on canvas. Dubuffet, renowned for his role in the Art Brut movement, consistently sought to embrace a raw and unfiltered approach to art that is powerfully evident in this series.

The Site De Mémoire series comprises three screenprints, each showcasing Dubuffet’s characteristic use of irregular, chaotic forms and interlocking shapes. The prints are dominated by a monochromatic palette of black and white, with a dynamic interplay of lines and patterns that create a sense of movement and complexity.

The first print in the series, Site De Mémoire I showcases dense assembly of figures and shapes. The composition is crowded with fragmented, almost primitive forms that seem to emerge from a maze of patterns. The use of bold black lines against a stark white background enhances the sense of confusion and complexity, reflecting the elusive and fragmented nature of memory.

Site de Mémoire II continues this theme with a slightly different arrangement. The figures here appear more isolated, surrounded by intricate patterns and textures that suggest a labyrinthine structure. This print emphasises the disjointed and often unclear recollections that make up our memories, with each figure and form representing a different aspect or fragment of remembered experience.

In Site de Mémoire III, Dubuffet intensifies the chaos. The figures are more abstract, blending into the intricate background of lines and shapes. The dense network of patterns creates a visual cacophony, symbolising the overwhelming flood of memories and thoughts that can obscure clear recollection.

Each screenprint in this series reflects Dubuffet’s interest in the raw, unpolished aspects of human experience. The consistency between the prints in the series alludes to the theme of memory as something that is often repeated and revisited, yet never entirely the same.

Dubuffet’s Site de Mémoire series showcases his mastery of form and composition and invites viewers to reflect on the nature of memory. By presenting memory as a chaotic, fragmented construct, Dubuffet challenges us to consider how we perceive and recall our experiences, making this series a significant contribution to his body of work and to Modern Art.