Stéphane Bordarier — Calme bloc ici-bas et autres peintures
Calme bloc ici-bas et autres peintures
Past: February 20 → April 5, 2014
Galerie Jean Fournier is pleased to be presenting recent works by Stéphane Bordarier, who has been with the gallery since 1989. This new solo exhibition comprises a group of paintings of various sizes: 178 × 203 cm, 140 × 140 cm and smaller ones of 40 × 40 cm. All of them date from 2013.
Nourished both by the 1960-70s avant-garde and the painting of the quattrocento, Bordarier works according to a fixed set of rules, voluntary constraints which nonetheless allow for a host of chromatic and formal variations. He covers a stretched canvas with rabbit-skin glue, then adds the paint while the glue is still drying. His work is thus embedded in time: he says he is ’driven out’ of the canvas by the drying process and its dictating of the finishing of the picture. It is as if colour and form are crystallised. For most of the pictures on display here, the artist has first overlaid the glue with a thin coat of white acrylic.
While still adhering to the painterly principles Bordarier first developed in the 1980s, this new series differs in its alternation of two colours prepared by the artist himself: mars violet, which he has been using since 1996 and knows “by heart”, and copper sulphate, a source of numerous transparency effects.
“In a self-imposed pendulum movement the artist moves in turn through territories known and unknown; he likes to lay down rules as a way of triggering the unexpected.”1
The matte quality of these paints is akin to that of fresco. Here form and colour are one. Bordarier’s use of a square or near-square format enables enormous freedom: with neither top nor bottom, it condenses form.
Each painting involves covering almost the entire canvas with a single colour. There are, too, more or less extensive reserved areas, which clip off edges and give the painting its shape. A shape which, depending on the picture, can emerge as cursive and drawn or, on the contrary, more massive and close to square, grazing the boundaries of the canvas and often spilling over onto the edge of the stretcher.
In contrast with the period 2004–2010, when Bordarier was exploring different modes of association between canvases, this exhibition comprises only individual, autonomous works. For him this is a return to fundamentals, to his artistic roots.
There is no place for subject matter or any element of expressionism in this artist’s practice. This is an oeuvre rooted in colour and its reflection of light. Stéphane Bordarier’s aim is to maintain the intensity and eloquence of his resources as he explores his new territories in a body of work whose trajectory is one of originality and freedom.
The exhibition is accompanied by a brochure created by the artist, with a text by Guitemie Maldonado.
1 Guitemie Maldonado, “Chercher à voir, sans trop savoir”, text for the brochure published for the artist’s exhibition in 2013.
Stéphane Bordarier — calme bloc ici-bas et autres peintures 2013 Opening Thursday, February 20, 2014 6 PM → 8:30 PM