Send in The Clowns

Jackson Arn at Art in America:

The first thing I noticed about Le Cirque when I saw it at Pace was its clumsiness. The sculpture is comically, endearingly big: thirteen feet tall and almost a hundred feet in circumference, with elephant legs and zebra stripes like scribbles blown up a thousandfold. Since it didn’t have to compete for attention (the only other work in the exhibition was a 1968 maquette of Dubuffet’s equally sprawling Jardin d’émail), it seemed even bigger. As you walk through it, Le Cirque suggests the organic and the architectural all at once, as though the big top has somehow merged with the animals. For all its maker’s prestige, there’s still a whiff of third-grade daffiness in the air—I suppose there are higher compliments for the father of Art Brut, but I’m not sure what they’d be.

I’ve got nothing but love for this monster; its cage is a different story. Dubuffet’s late, large sculptures look their best—and were, in many cases, designed to be looked at—en plein air.

more here.