Closing this week is the fourth solo exhibition at Timothy Taylor Gallery by acclaimed French artist Jean-Marc Bustamante. Bustamante is known for his quasi-scientific experiments in merging different artistic media. Cross-fertilizing sculpture, painting and photography, Bustamante began to push his progressive way of working in the 1960s. For this exhibition at Timothy Taylor, Bustamante returns to again challenge the existing possibilities of these media, and to break down the confines of our notions and perceptions of what they should do, aesthetically and philosophically.
Take Something Hot and Cool it Down presents a stunning new series of paintings by Bustamante. Demonstrating his continuing concern with examining form, the works contained in Take Something Hot, Bustamante have embarked on a meticulous creative process. Working this time with industrial inks and plexiglass, Bustamante has refracted original watercolour sketches and drawings, reworking them digitally via a computer, before transforming them into something suggestive of sculpture through giving a dimensional layering of the surfaces.
Through applying this fascinating, multi-layered technique to deconstruct expectations of what we mean by painting, sculpture, photograph, or drawing, Bustamante has created a new body of work that is visually arresting and deeply evocative. The interplay of each composition, combining the intensity of digital colours with the fluidity and authenticity of the painterly, refracted through the plexiglass transfigures further light and movement. The work beautifully conjures natural elements, mutable, rich and elusive.
This hybridization of forms of course is not exclusive only to Bustamante, but he has such a masterful way of experimenting and manipulating the creative process, of unearthing the new from the antiquated, that he asserts his authority as one of the key innovators in contemporary art, a kind of mad professor, distilling something ‘hot’ and ‘cooling it down’ in his laboratory. A truly inspiring exhibition, which points to exciting new prospects for experimenting in painting in the digital era.
-- Charlotte Jansen
Images courtesy Timothy Taylor Gallery
Images: Jean-Marc Bustamante , Cardinal, 2010, Ink on plexiglass, 59 x 59 in. / 150 x 150 cm, Copyright, Jean-Marc Bustamante; Courtesy, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London; Jean-Marc Bustamante , Ozelot, 2010, Ink on plexiglass, 59 x 59 in. / 150 x 150 cm, Copyright, Jean-Marc Bustamante; Courtesy, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London