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Dispositif aux vaisselles [Dishwasher]
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2015

Reference URL

Dispositif aux vaisselles [Dishwasher] Dated 1965

Not on display

Between 1962 and 1974 Dubuffet worked on an important series he called ‘l’Hourloupe’, to which this work belongs. ‘Hourloupe’ is an invented word which Dubuffet said, “calls to mind some object or personage of fairytale-like and grotesque state”. Verging on abstraction - a figure can just be made out on the left side, holding a brush and facing a bottle – ‘Dishwasher’ is composed of interlocking, jigsaw-like shapes. The series began as ball-point pen doodles and display what Dubuffet described as his “meandering, uninterrupted and resolutely uniform line, which brings all planes to the surface”. The ‘l’Hourloupe' series greatly influenced Dubuffet’s painted sculptures and culminated in ‘Coucou Bazar (Bal de l’Hourloupe)’ - a performance piece first staged in 1973.

Glossary Open

Abstract art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.


A decorative element comprising figures, animals, plants, mythological creatures and architectural elements which are often combined in bizarre configuration. Originating in ancient Rome, such details were revived in the Renaissance following the rediscovery of ancient murals.

Performance art

Works in which the actions of the artist constitute the art. Artists have used performance techniques throughout the 20th century but the term is usually applied to works from the 1960s onwards.


A plane is a flat surface within a drawing, painting or sculpture.

Abstract art, Composition, Grotesque, Performance art, Plane


  • Acc. No. GMA 2151
  • Medium Vinyl on paper laid on canvas
  • Size 99.50 x 69.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1980