Pierre Buraglio — ... à tenon et mortaise...
... à tenon et mortaise...
Past: September 4 → October 11, 2014
The exhibition’s title, …tongue and groove…, is a cabinetmaker’s term for a specific way of assembling two pieces of wood. This method functions here as a metaphor for the artist’s personal approach, for the masterly combination of physical interlocking and mental structuring that characterise each work — paintings whose miscellanies of created or found components are sometimes tweaked and amalgamated. This is an agenda hinging on his need to deconstruct the easel picture : devising his own economy of means and recycling his own materials, Buraglio reinvents painting without resort to stretchers or brushes.
A jazz addict, Buraglio is building a musical oeuvre, variations, so to speak, on the same theme. It is hardly surprising, then, that as subject matter, his own house and its immediate surroundings have become the underlying theme of the various series making up this exhibition.
A sequence titled Charentonneau focuses on the neighbourhood in Maisons-Alfort, in the south-east Paris suburbs, where Buraglio has lived all his life. Another, similar series shows roofs, chimneys and TV antennae as observed from his garden. Flirting with abstraction and using materials like corrugated cardboard and plywood to imitate a red brick motif, he returns here to some of his paradigmatic techniques : re-use, assemblage, collage. One piece resembles a window, offering glimpses of areas of wall through cut-out cardboard. Red ochre and blue dominate such airy, not to say ethereal works like the big Embellies (Bright Intervals), in which the artist addresses landscape through a paring-down of materials, colours and gestures. In the sublimeness of their silence and respiration, these works can be read as homages to 17th-century Dutch painting.
Like a musician, Buraglio works away at his theme until it becomes a material in its own right : a section of cast-iron balcony serves as a stencil, in the manner of a readymade. Combining evocations of Duchamp with very painterly qualities, this series of small pictures reminds us of the artist’s regular visits to the Musée d’Orsay and his attentive observation of Gustave Caillebotte — especially the balcony views. He explores this motif in different media, in one case using a stretcher covered with a pair of his old denim pants, and in another overlaying it on an earlier painting.
Buraglio is particularly concerned with getting his titles right : Rue Serge Reggiani, Rue Pierre Gascar, À Pietro B., Rue Alberto Lattuda are typical examples of his references to writers, artists, singers, politicians and even members of his family who have left their mark on him and challenge him intellectually.
This group of works testifies to the way Buraglio’s mind roves freely, to his fresh observations and more distant recollections. And to the way his spiralling creative process leads him from one material to another, from an initial image to a surfacing memory.
This exhibition is taking place in parallel with another, in which Pierre Buraglio’s works dialogue with those of Edouard Pignon from 5 September to 18 October at Bernard Ceysson’s Gallery.
Opening Thursday, September 4, 2014 6 PM → 8:30 PM