Bernard Joubert — Le fixe et le variable


Painting, photography

Bernard Joubert
Le fixe et le variable

Ends in 28 days: September 5 → October 22, 2023

As part of our curatorial agenda, we are proud to invite, once a year, an artist who has built up an exceptional body of work that deserves to be highlighted. Following the successful exhibitions featuring Hideyuki Ishibashi, Irène Jonas, Jean de Pomereu, and Máté Dobokay, we present this year, a solo exhibition of Bernard Joubert’s oeuvre, a set of minimalist paintings and a never-before-seen series of photographs made in New York, Paris, Venice and Brussels in the 1970s.

Born in Paris in 1946, Bernard Joubert is a renowned visual artist known for his minimalist paintings made of simple ribbons. His first solo exhibition dates back to 1974 at the esteemed Yvon Lambert gallery in Paris. From the very beginning, the artist painted on loose canvases, usually tracing lines of colour directly with a tube of paint. A notable shift ensued in 1973, as he decided to leave the canvas behind and began to paint a series of ribbons. For almost ten years, these colored lines painted on cotton ribbons would delineate geometric surfaces, without these surfaces being closed.

It is these ribbons which set the tempo in the scenography of our glass-roofed gallery space, creating a harmonious punctuation alongside a collection of vintage photographs made from 1974 to 1977 and revealed to the public for the very first time. A special preview will be held from the 1st of September, 2023, in conjunction with the “Traversées du Marais” festival.

Art historian, Michel Poivert, explains in the preface of the book published for the occasion that “in his photographs, Bernard Joubert strives to ’create a figure without constructing it’, as he articulates it: this encapsulates photography’s potency and its interconnectedness with his painting. Consequently, his photographs morph into existential enigmas — conundrums perpetually entwined with the encounter of the visually representational, images now akin to specters, casting a reverberating presence upon our comprehension of contemporary painting”.

Whether it be in the streets of Paris, New York, Brussels or Venice, the artist always follows the same protocol, engendering a figure through the act of photographing a rectangular construct measuring 200 × 4.5 cm, demarcated by a white ribbon juxtaposed with a black ribbon.

Bernard Joubert’s work has been exhibited extensively across Europe and in the United States. His paintings and drawings have long found their place within the collections of the MoMA in New York and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, as well as in the Panza di Biumo collection in Italy. Thierry Bigaignon further emphasizes: “This work stands as a historical artifact, emblematic of the 1970s — a notably fertile era — and particularly reflective of Bernard Joubert’s ’minimalist’ phase. During this epoch, aside from deconstructing the very essence of painting through these ribbons, he embarked upon a harmonious fusion of installation, street art, and photography, interweaving these ribbons within public spaces and capturing them in captivating compositions. These vintage silver prints are truly exceptional, and thus, it became imperative to finally unveil them”.

Accompanying the exhibition is an artist’s book, released in a limited edition of 200 copies.

03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

18, rue du Bourg-Tibourg

75004 Paris

Hôtel de Ville

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment Ouverture également sur rendez-vous pour visites privées, 7 jours/7, entre 10h et 20h. Réservation sur le site de la galerie.

The artist

  • Bernard Joubert

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