Jean-Baptiste Bernadet / Koen Delaere – Wichiti

from Friday, November 29th, 2013 to Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Wichiti
29 November 2013 – 25 January 2014
Opening Friday 29 November from 5 p.m.

Jean-Baptiste Bernadet
Koen Delaere

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Wichiti - Press release
Artists

Exhibited Artists

exhibition view

exhibition view

exhibition view

Koen Delaere, Untitled 2013 190 x 110 cm. mixed media on canvas

Jean_Baptiste Bernadet Untitled 2013 72 x 61 cm. oil on linen,

Jean-Baptiste Bernadet Untitled 2013 5 x 200 x 113 cm. oil on canvas, hinges,

exhibition view

exhibition view

exhibition view

Koen Delaere, Untitled 2013 190 x 110 cm. mixed media on canvas

Jean_Baptiste Bernadet Untitled 2013 72 x 61 cm. oil on linen,

Jean-Baptiste Bernadet Untitled 2013 5 x 200 x 113 cm. oil on canvas, hinges,

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Wichiti

Each of Jean-Baptiste Bernadet’s paintings returns to painting from a singular entry point: a burst of evanescent colours onto the field of the canvas; riddling a year of birth and a course year with metallic residues; stymieing an advertisement for diamonds with black spray; black and white paint brushed and quickly effaced, etc. These constitute so many entry points, which are not without an ironic and reflective dimension, as Bernadet appropriates the codes that make up the history of art and painting, both in its relation to the image and to the act of painting. Each painting appears as an attempt to appropriate painting, to make it one’s own. Appropriation here is not about the simple reproduction of an act, image or code but instead about a subjectivation that entails their displacement.

Since it entered a crisis and was subjected to multiple postmodern interrogations, painting has in fact been incessantly revived and displaced, inevitably raising the question of the possibility, or of the obsolescence, of defining it. This strategy of circumvention of the pictorial medium, placing a sort of assumed melancholy on a desired object that refuses or resists its being named, has been applied by several generations of artists, from Raoul De Keyzer to Josh Smith, passing through Martin Kippenberger and Christopher Wool. Bernadet’s work takes up this theme anew and approaches it through a twofold economy.

The first economy runs according to a logic of expenditure, in the sense that Georges Bataille gives the term. The splendour of styles characterising the artist’s production, the brushed effect, the unfinished effect, and the speed of execution of some of his paintings (that is, of his ‘provisional paintings’, to use to Raphaël Rubinstein’s expression) attest to this logic of expenditure, where production has no other utility or function than to arouse a form of pleasure, and sometimes of loss, of painting, in the manner of those lines, strokes and layers that, in many of his paintings, seem to contradict one another. The second aspect of this economy entails a no less essential question about the history of recent painting, as well as of history and of fiction. With the great modernist narratives entering into crisis (Lyotard), Bernadet’s painting seems in fact to be striving to reconsider a form of narrativisation in painting, via a means of abstraction. As the artist himself indicates, ‘All my painting is addressed to someone’.

This mode of address works via the inscription of phrases conveying a wittingly pop and sometimes disillusioned dimension. But it also consists in the painted act that conveys and unfolds a story (one about a painting’s realisation and the multiple acts of tensioning involved in creating it), as well as the very arrangement of such paintings in space, which suggests a form of their fictionalisation whereby the apparent incoherence of styles, acts, materials and canvas effects addressing the spectator comprises part of the painting’s narrativisation, one that is non-linear, broken and strewn with gaps.
(Raphaël Pirenne, 2013)

Jean-Baptiste Bernadet was born in Paris in 1978. He has lived and worked in Brussels since 2000, and was artist-in-residence at Triangle Studios in Brooklyn in 2012, APT Studios in Brooklyn in 2011, and Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas, in 2010.
His solo exhibitions include, among others, Marfa Book Company in Marfa, Texas, Casado Santapau in Madrid (2013), Saks in Geneva, Torri in Paris, Renwick in New York City (2011), the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, Maes & Matthys in Antwerp, Baronian_Francey Gallery in Brussels (2010), Les Filles du Calvaire in Brussels, Chapelle des Calvairiennes in Mayenne, France, Galerie Xprssns in Hamburg (2008), and Konsortium in Dusseldorf (2007).
Since 2001, he has participated in many group shows, including Ricou Gallery and Super Dakota Gallery in Brussels, TOrri in Paris (2013), Toomer Labzda Gallery in New York City, Angstrom in Dallas, Texas, Klemm’s Gallery in Berlin, Villa Noailles in Hyères (2012), Artorama in Marseille, 8 rue Saint Bon in Paris, Karma in New York City, White Flags in Saint Louis, Missouri (2011), WIELS in Brussels (2009 and 2010), Galerie Crèvecoeur in Paris (2009), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tourcoing (2005), Galerie Catherine Bastide in Brussels (2004).

Koen Delaere does not paint in the traditional concept, but uses the colormatter to create physical surface. Geometric scars and form alteration stemming from frictional force between surfaces that move to precise coordinates. Delaere often uses a method that portrays mirror surfaces of the paintings at the time a piece is created. Work is reflected one against the other, creating a dynamic in his work that signifies the generation of an incompatibility between the floor and surface, including the technical continuity of the painting, its layers within that seek to undo previous layers. The violence of the movement between two paintings scales the integrity that normally characterizes an image.
His approach to painting comes within reach of the performative moment of music. As in musical productions, it is in his works that one perceives a “live” performance. A spontaneity that is reflected throughout a concert. There is a randomness, an improvisation and a controlled chaos. We find traces of these elements in his paintings, as well as the freshness of a live performance. His works live on an extension of the present.
If on one part a dimension of speed and freshness is perceived, on the other we find a relationship between layers that recalls the ancient frescoes that over centuries have lost its layers to make way for others. Behind this informality, a profoundness of time is created. Behind the layers of paint lie other situations of color and other rationale that are at the base of his works. Delaere destroys to create other shapes. This precise notion to destroy in order to create gives a sense of historical depth. A situation in which to compare the minimalist works and geometry of Schoonhoven and Mondriaan with current pop art in Curacao or Los Angeles. In this way the artist manages to evoke forms of nature and colors of the contemporary metropolis in its chromatic explosions.
(From Lorenzo Benedetti’s Chromatic Explosions)

Last year Koen Delaere (1970, Brugge) made various exhibitions in Sao Paulo, Barcelona and Madrid. Also once again he was guest at Autocenter in Berlin together with Marijn van Kreij en Bas van den Hurk and his work was to be seen in the painting exhibition What’s Up! in the Dordrechts Museum.

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