Group of Four Trees

Jean Dubuffet’s sculpture ‘Group of Four Trees’ symbolizes the cooperation between the four partners in the 4days Foundation. Coming from different walks of life, with different academic backgrounds, the four partners lean together as the trees in Dubuffet’s beautiful sculpture, combining their knowlegde and experience, courage and determination in realizing their wide range of projects.

Group of Four Trees
Jean Dubuffet, 1969-1972

Group of Four Trees is a black and white sculpture standing just in front of the black and white Chase Manhattan Bank building. The similarities between the sculpture and building, however, stop there. The building’s straight lines and evenly-spaced rows of windows stand in contrast to the irregular surfaces of Group of Four Trees. The forms of the trees are made up of a series of varying planes, all white, and connected together by thick black outlines. The trees’ canopies lean in different directions, and the heights of the four trees are all different, making the viewer’s eye move all around the sculpture, following the many lines that are present.

The trees manage to look both big and small at the same time. Although almost dwarfed by the surrounding buildings, Group of Four Trees in turn stands high above the people who walk by. Because of the unusual shapes of the trees, and the lack of natural color, the trees seem not quite organic. They do, however, add dynamic movement to the plaza.

The Chase Manhattan Bank Plaza, off Pine Street, between Nassau and William Streets, New York City.