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Group show: Kyle Thur­man, Is­rael Lund, Jean Bap­tiste Ber­na­det, Josh Smith (over)

6 April 2013 until 11 May 2013
  Kyle Thur­man, Is­rael Lund, Jean Bap­tiste Ber­na­det, Josh Smith

7, rue Saint-Claude
75003 Paris
France (city map)

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tel +33 (0)140 - 27 00 32

Kyle Thur­man
Is­rael Lund
Jean Bap­tiste Ber­na­det
Josh Smith

06.04 - 11.05.2013

Ope­ning re­cep­tion April 6th 2013
4pm - 9 pm


« Art is eve­ryone's and it sits there for contem­pla­tion and any other pos­sible use, by all and among them, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. » John Arm­le­der

Four ar­tists ex­pose 11 pain­tings wi­thin the 4 walls of gal­le­ry TORRI. Three of them are from New York, the other one, French, spent there a per­iod of his life. What is the in­fluence the East-coast me­tro­po­lis (with its li­fe­style and his­to­ry, its chan­ging sky, dirty streets, the co­lours and ma­te­rials of its buil­dings) had on these ar­tists? Only the pain­tings ga­the­red in this ex­hi­bi­tion - mi­ni­ma­list and brut, ges­tu­ral and mute, he­si­tant and in­ci­sive - can en­ligh­ten us. The ar­tists share an in­ter­est for for­ma­lism and ma­te­rials, and this se­lec­tion re­flects af­fi­ni­ties and me­to­ny­mi­cal connec­tions that link their re­search. They work on se­ries to pur­sue uni­que­ness (« Isn't life a se­ries of images that change as they re­peat them­selves? » Andy Wa­rhol); dis­trus­ting though all vir­tuo­si­ty, mys­ti­cism and idea­lism that sur­round abs­tract pain­ting or the he­roism of self- ex­pres­sion.

Kyle Thur­man works with flo­wers found in New York delis. His pain­tings are tit­led ac­cor­ding to the ad­dress where the flo­wers were pur­cha­sed. He ob­tains a red pig­ment by boi­ling some of them and uses some others as a sten­cil, « crea­ting a fi­gure-ground pat­tern of pin­kish-red tones and raw can­vas. » This flo­ral pat­tern ex­tends over the edges of the can­vas, « al­lu­ding to the idea of an in­dus­trial­ly-pro­du­ced tex­tile». Kyle is in­ter­es­ted by « the ten­sion and har­mo­ny that is crea­ted by using the pri­mi­tive tech­nique of pig­ment- ma­king to re­cycle an ar­ti­fi­cial dye and then com­pose a pain­ting that has the illu­sion of mass-pro­du­ced fa­bric. These pain­tings si­mul­ta­neous­ly at­tempt to en­gage with the his­to­ry of abs­trac­tion, ma­te­rial-ba­sed pain­ting, land and pop art. » This in­clu­sion of na­ture re­minds that « there is no es­ca­ping na­ture through abs­tract re­pre­sen­ta­tion; abs­trac­tion brings one clo­ser to phy­si­cal struc­tures wi­thin na­ture it­self » (Ro­bert Smith­son).

Is­rael Lund's pain­tings are silks­creen prin­tings on can­vas, in the stan­dard for­mat of 11 x 8,5 in. With a squee­gee he spreads cyan, ma­gen­ta and yel­low ink on the silk-screen. He tries « to make a mo­no­chrome pain­ting where every part of the can­vas is co­ve­red, but the tex­ture of the can­vas re­sists a per­fect co­ve­ring of ink. The can­vas weave make the image. » The amount of ink used and the pres­sure of the squee­gee on the can­vas pro­duce these paints, which ope­rate « as a pho­to­co­py on a piece of paper be­cause of its image, as a pain­ting be­cause it is on a can­vas sub­strate, and also wi­thin a dis­course of print­ma­king be­cause of the pro­cess of its ma­king. » Could this be a pa­ra­digm of pain­ting?

In order to stop thro­wing his paddles (« this ephe­me­ral dis­po­sable by-pro­ducts of pain­ting ») Josh Smith uses can­vases as contai­ners for co­lour, trans­for­ming them into «pa­lette pain­tings» or «brush-clea­ning pain­tings»: « I'll have an empty can­vas, and if I have a brush that's loa­ded, I'll just put it on there and use it. Of course I'm not going to waste it. If a quar­ter­back has a chance to throw the ball down the field, he should throw it. »
Is this the dawn of an abs­trac­tion? A ca­ri­ca­ture of it? Is there so­me­thing li­bi­di­nal in the loa­ded brush that rubs and wipes on a white can­vas?

Jean-Bap­tiste Ber­na­det lays a mul­ti­tude of uns­table, he­si­tant and sin­cere ges­tures to create his pain­tings, co­ve­ring the can­vas with blen­ded co­lours: « These ges­tures are any­thing but ex­pres­sive, they are evo­ca­tion, speed. Touch and chro­ma­tic scale could make us think of en­lar­ged de­tails of Im­pres­sio­nist pain­tings, which in turn bor­ro­wed some of their co­lours (pink, yel­low) from Ve­ne­tian pain­ting (Ti­tian, Tin­to­ret­to). » The last layer is made of glass beads, a ma­te­rial used for road mar­king or for shuf­fle­boards, which makes the pre­vious co­lour layers look « a lit­tle blur­ry, but also more brilliant and brigh­ter ». This layer of glass beads flat­tens the pic­to­rial sur­face, contra­dic­ting the three di­men­sio­nal touch. In this sense they are al­most images of pain­ting more than pain­tings. In any case, they play on this am­bi­gui­ty. The ex­pres­si­vi­ty of ges­ture is then « more or less hid­den be­hind a foggy as­pect, or be­hind a last layer that contra­dicts the pre­vious layers, so that these ges­tures were du­pli­ca­ted or they be­came im­pos­sible to dis­tin­guish from the back­ground. » Shall we consi­der them concrete pain­tings?

Each work has its own rhe­to­ric, each ar­tist de­ve­lops a lan­guage car­rying mea­ning and de­sire. All means seem good to make a pain­ting, and this brings things back to what they are.

Ti­mo­thée Chaillou

Ti­mo­thée Chaillou is in­de­pendent cu­ra­tor and art cri­tic born in the 1980's. He stu­died his­to­ry of art, phi­lo­so­phy of art and aes­the­tic of ci­ne­ma. His recent pro­jects in­clude Seuls quelques frag­ments de nous tou­che­ront quelques frag­ments d'au­trui, ex­hi­bi­tion held at Thad­daeus Ropac Gal­le­ry in Paris and Fra­grance in Ga­ra­gisme ma­ga­zine issue 3.

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