Transformer robots invade Paris! Or so goes the news headline. Imagine the possible shock when this sculpture first appeared in the late 1980s. I’m a fan of this work by Dubuffet but only since getting close-up to the works. And this one sits hidden on a roof terrace in Paris’ University Pediatric Hospital (Robert Debre).
Catching a glimpse of it through the window is one thing, but get closer and the size is striking. As an adult you’ll most likely be able to fit between its wide-standing legs. Try it. The piece was installed in the hospital’s grounds by the hospital’s architect Pierre Riboulet. I think maybe the architect loved its name, maybe more than its form, it’s called L’accueillant (The Welcoming).
Ironically though there’s no need to announce yourself when arriving at the hospital. You simply arrive and gothrough to the hospital’s equally remarkable winter garden (check the Winter Garden article) and through a range of windows there you’ll spot an imposing hunk – that’s L’accueillant. The Welcoming invites you to get-up-close and take your own strides through its monumental and squiggly form.