Guggenheim

In his Ladies’ Bodies series, Dubuffet confronted the European tradition of the female nude. He found such idealized depictions of women’s bodies, which cater to socially enforced notions of beauty, “miserable and most depressing.” He instead asserted, “The idea that there are beautiful objects and ugly objects, people who are endowed with beauty and those who cannot claim it . . . I declare that convention unhealthy. I enjoy . . . dissociating . . . this pretense of beauty from any object I undertake to paint, starting again from this zero. Very often this cleaning suffices for the object to emerge suddenly wonderfully —. . . as in fact any object can be.”