Jean-Pierre Pincemin — Je puis dire que j’ai appris à peindre en faisant de la gravure (...)

Exhibition

Lithography / engraving, painting

Jean-Pierre Pincemin
Je puis dire que j’ai appris à peindre en faisant de la gravure (...)

Ends in about 1 month: November 19, 2022 → January 7, 2023

Galerie Catherine Putman is pleased to show for the first time an exhibition of Jean-Pierre Pincemin’s work that consists of a fine set of engravings and a few unique works on canvas or paper.

For Pincemin, print-making—like painting and sculpture—was experimental and could not be enclosed in technique. Thus many processes were used, invented and developed by the artist in various studios in collaboration with printers like Pasnic and Piero Crommelynck.

Pincemin worked on engraving regularly from 1985, with his first prints dating from the very end of the 1970s . ‘It was in 1979, thanks to a fortunate meeting with Jacques Putman and the latter’s intention to publish what one day would be my engravings, that this entered my life.’ (1)
The Putmans published prints, sometimes in collaboration with Marie-Hélène Montenay. In the 1980s the artist worked at the Pasnic studio using drypoint on Perspex and large wooden pieces engraved with a pneumatic hammer and touched up. During the same period, his wife Françoise Pincemin also printed many pieces at her studio in Authon-la-Plaine. Strong collaboration then became established with the Piero Crommelynck studio with the printing of aquatints in sugar, in black and white and sometimes in colour thanks to the use of bonded paper.

His approach to engraving may bring to mind the principles of Supports/Surfaces, a movement in art in which he participated in the 1970s, and especially the print that was characteristic of his first works and the very essence of engraving. He used it in a raw manner in large prints, with a fine example shown in the exhibition: Empreintes, 1992, 160 × 120 cm (cat. 192). Using different matrices, he did not hesitate to ‘correct’ the prints, thus giving the engravings another dimension, the very idea of variations. ‘I correct poorly printed engravings with white correction fluid, as used with typewriters, or with black.’ (2)

Engraving work participated in the evolution of his pictorial style, his opening to figurative work and the development of his iconographic scope.

Jean-Pierre Pincemin was a painter, sculptor and engraver. From the Supports/Surfaces period his painting of the early 1980s kept the meaning of geometric composition, the layout of space—in strips and squares but using more ‘classical’ pictorial matter¬—and sophisticated painted matter and subtle colours. The 195×154 cm painting shown at the gallery and its characteristic layout with vertical bands in three colours is a perfect example of this. In 1986, Galerie de France presented the exhibition L’Année de l’Inde, with Pincemin’s work showing animals, plants and flower motifs. After 1986, his engraving and painting were centred on a broad iconographic variety that gave pride of place to animals and played with the reinterpretation of certain classical or religious subjects—not without a measure of humour—such as macabre dances.


Jean-Pierre Pincemin (1944-2005)

Born in Paris in 1944, Jean-Pierre Pincemin was a lathe operator and discovered painting during visits to the Louvre and galleries; he became an artist in the 1960s, encouraged by the gallery owner Jean Fournier. He then made sculptures by assembling scrap wood.

In the 1970s he participated briefly in the Supports/Surfaces movement that called into question traditional painting and its tools and materials: stretcher, paint, canvas, etc. He cut, glued and stained boards, sheet metal, wire netting or squares of canvas soaked in paint (series of paintings: Les Palissades and Les Portails).
1973 — A series of paintings called Les Échelles: orthogonal strips that were soaked, glued and sewn.
1974 — The series of paintings called Les Palissades: monumental canvases, architectural construction.

Pincemin then moved away from the Supports/Surfaces politico-artistic discussions and moved towards abstract expressionism and American minimalism. He was interested in the material aspect of painting and the traces of technical procedures. He returned joyfully to brushes and stretchers and made paintings with broad vertical bands in which he combined sophisticated colouring and rigorous construction.

1978-79 — Discovery of engraving that influenced that of painting.
He settled in Authon-la-Plaine in the Essonne department.
1981-1987 — He taught at the École des beaux-arts in Poitiers. A series of paintings called Les Pleureuses. International recognition.
1986 — A series of paintings for L’Année de l’Inde, with the appearance of coloured figures on the canvas. Plant and animal figures then appeared in his engravings.
1987 — He became a teacher at the École des beaux-arts in Angers. Public commissions: Ministry of Finance, Tour de la Lanterne (Lantern Tower) in La Rochelle, Stade Charléty, etc.
1987-88 — Series Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, sculptures in small painted wooden scrap on a metal frame.
1988-89 — He settled at the Moulin du Roy, Sens.
1992 — Sculptures in foam and modelling clay.
1994 — Series of paintings: La Dérive des continents.
1995-1996 — Series of paintings: Chasse au tigre, Chasse à l’ours, Saint Georges terrassant le dragon.
1998 — Series of paintings: Les Amants séparés: small canvases of Far Eastern inspiration. Design: tables, chairs, ceramics. Ambassador of l’Association française de l’action artistique à l’étranger.
2001 — He settled in Arcueil in the Paris suburbs.
2002 — Series of paintings: Arbres de la connaissance and Arbres au tombeau.
2003 — He started the series of his latest abstract paintings—return to fresh abstraction.
2005 — Jean-Pierre Pincemin died suddenly in his studio in Arcueil.


(1) Jean-Pierrre Pincemin Dérive des continents, 1994, Jean-Marc Huitorel
(2) Jean-Pierre Pincemin, Gravures 1971-1997, Musée de la Cohue Somogy