Carte blanche à Pierre Buraglio


Drawing, painting, mixed media

Carte blanche à Pierre Buraglio

Past: June 25 → July 31, 2015

Galerie Jean Fournier is pleased to be entrusting its summer programme to iconic French artist Pierre Buraglio, who has been showing with us for almost fifty years. His response to our invitation was characteristically modest: “I was delighted with this carte blanche proposal from Galerie Jean Fournier, where I first showed in 1966. The question facing me was, who to invite: ten or fifty respected friends, a list ranging from A to Z? I finally settled on five painters, women and men of different styles, schools and ages. My primary concern was that in choosing them and their works we should not appear ’contemporary’ in the disastrously restrictive sense of standing for a genre. Rather, I wanted real, living individuals.”1

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Dominique De Beir, 12 août (70), 2014 Peinture et impacts sur polystyrène — 2 × 32 × 23 cm Courtesy Galerie Jean Fournier

This exhibition comprises works by five artists — Marie-Claude Bugeaud, Bertrand Canard, Dominique De Beir, Emmanuel, and Jean Laube — in interaction with recent works by Pierre Buraglio. Buraglio has a special affinity with each of his choices: Bertrand Canard and Marie-Claude Bugeaud are long-standing friends; Dominique De Beir was among his students at the Beaux-Arts in Paris; and Jean Laube and Emmanuel are simply artists whose work he likes. At the same time one detects a shared vision of the everyday, a relationship to objects that finds expression in recourse to such rudimentary or basic materials as glass, cardboard and polystyrene. Fragility — a form of “poverty”, even — emanates from their creations, something which is also true of the Buraglio oeuvre as a whole.

For the texts in the booklet accompanying the exhibition Buraglio called on Romain Mathieu, one of today’s leading specialists on abstraction: if there is one indubitable common factor here, it is abstraction as practised via colour, drawing and cutting.

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Jean Laube, Découpage n°13, 2015 Gouache sur carton — 40 × 48 × 5 cm Courtesy Galerie Jean Fournier

“Marie-Claude Bugeaud,” writes critic and admirer Pierre Wat, “is a painter of oscillation. Her work advances in a mingling of line and colour, of abstraction and allusion to motifs like hair, and the mouth . . . The airiness of her arabesques counters the blackness of her dots, while the concentration and weight of the dots counter that airiness with reminders of the tragic order of the world.” 2

Bertrand Canard addresses colour through polyptychs. He spreads his colour forthrightly, in blocks that seem to hover together in the blankness of the picture space. This is work of striking radicality and minimalism. Its forms coexist, attracting and repelling reciprocally within the boundaries of the picture. Meanwhile the white of the canvas sets up interplay with the gaps and tensions produced by spatially interacting forms and colours.

Piercing, striking, scratching, peeling, burning, reversing –these are the methods Dominique De Beir tries out as she assails her working surfaces. Using repetitive, mechanical gestures she perforates all kinds of materials — paper, cardboard, polystyrene, etc. — with punches, styluses, scalpels, roofing ladders, workboots and a range of other tools and instruments designed in collaboration with different tradesmen. (Mis)treated and pulverised, her substances flirt with the effects and properties of ceramics: hardness, softness and so on.

Emmanuel’s work has to do with geometrical abstraction; with seriality achieved by cutting up, spacing and overlaying sheets of black glass. This minimalist use of glass echoes his work with paper: notebooks and books created solely by folding and a complex system of cutting-up. Seemingly austere and pared down, this geometrical world is, in the final analysis, akin to to the poetic sensitivity of Josef Albers.

Jean Laube’s cardboard reliefs and paintings on wood and paper engage with represented or constructed spaces, form and colour. He cuts out and assembles, creating little “structures–edifices” that address questions of scale. These pieces can be simply offered to the viewer for handling or, as in the artist’s recent series, hung on the wall. The third dimension, whether real or fictive, is a constant presence in Laube’s work.

This exhibition is a playful, light-hearted presentation of atypical artists and their individual affinities with Galerie Jean Fournier’s artistic philosophy.

1 Pierre Buraglio, may 2015

2 Pierre Wat, catalogue of the exhibition at the Maison des Arts in Malakoff, page 4.

  • Marie-Claude Bugeaud, Bertrand Canard, Dominique De Beir, Emmanuel, Jean Laube — Carte blanche à Pierre Buraglio Opening Thursday, June 25, 2015 5 PM → 8 PM
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