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Group of Four Trees 1972

by Jean Dubuffet, 1901-1985

Jean Dubuffet’s “Group of Four Trees” in front of 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza don’t really look like trees: they don’t have leaves or roots, and are made of concrete. This abstract sculpture, 40 feet tall, consists of organic forms arranged to remind the pedestrian of a forest. Commissioned by David Rockefeller in 1972, the Trees breaks from the rigidity of rectilinear skyscrapers which surround the plaza. Dubuffet’s abstract work, known as “l’art brut (art in raw),” uses organic shapes formed by lines. His sculptures are three-dimensional representations of his paintings and drawings. Dubuffet worked in France until his death, but lived in Greenwich Village for several years, where he used trash and found objects to create sculptures.


1969 David Rockefeller asks Dubuffet to form a sculpture for the plaza
1972 Dubuffet finishes sculpture

Reference Links

link New York Public Art Curriculum - Group of Four Trees
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