jean-baptiste bernadet & patrick brennan present a series of recent paintings on canvas. viewing these works is like trying to see the sun through a dirty window - they distort and warp your gaze. both artists work in layers - finally utilizing a coat of pearly acrylic and glass beads which awaken fragmented forms and illuminate a rich and tactile palette.
given the task of defining this shared visual code both artists and the gallery produced a ten word description of the exhibition:
toomer labzda: shine / distraction / barrier / touch / dual / transmit / noise / sublime / vibrate / muffle
bernadet: dawn / anthems / transfer / translate / transient / transparent / someone / words / gradient / dawn
brennan: glare / slice / gold / high / flake / black / camouflage / wonder / eclipse / fold
the gallery also asked both artists a series a questions:
where are you from / where’s your studio?
bernadet: Paris / Dumbo, Triangle Residency
brennan: Syracuse, New York / Brooklyn
what is your medium?
what do you use most often in your studio?
bernadet: The couch. Reading newspaper, listening to music, napping sometimes, and always feeling guilty of not finding ways to spend more time on paintings. I don't need more than one or two hours a day for work, but for this hour to happen I need to loose the seven or eight hours around to find it.
brennan: My imagination.
what is your favorite part of the creative process?
bernadet: Buying some materials is a joyful moment, and also maybe the deep, intense satisfaction I can get when I'm happy of what I’ve done and other people agree with me. It happens three or four times a year, but it’s worth all the other painful and lonely moments.
brennan: I love everything about it. It's what drives the work. The chance to get into the studio and do what I want, the way I want is enthralling!
what is your earliest memory of art?
bernadet: I am lucky enough, thanks to my parents, for not being able to answer that. I spent so much time as a kid learning to play viola, piano, visiting museums and flea markets, reading books etc.
brennan: A painting of Napoleon in a text book in 2nd grade. It moved me. That feeling comes and gos but at the time it was so real.
how did you start working in your current medium?
bernadet: Just before entering art school, I was 18 probably. Before that I wanted to be clown, a tv host, then a fireworks engineer, an industrial designer, a writer, a cook.
brennan: I was making video and I needed to get back to making objects. In my mind I wanted to make sculpture but they turn out to be collage really. But I call them paintings.
what was the last exhibition you saw?
bernadet: The Rineke Dikjstra show at the Guggenheim is not the last I saw but it was the last I loved. I'm really suspicious about the ideas of morale, honesty and sincerity in art, but she's among the very few artists that makes me believe in these things. I also loved the small Vuillard show at the Jewish museum, he’s one of my favorite artist.
brennan: Jay Defeo at SFMOMA. Mind blowing!!
is there an artist you’ve always wanted to grab drinks with?
bernadet: Recently, all the artists I really wanted to meet but didn't even try to because they are too famous or unreachable, died few months after I started thinking of finding a way to meet them - so I won’t name the other ones, still alive, here.
And if I could have a drink with a dead one it would be Marcel Proust.
brennan: Julian Shnabel .. Would be interesting. Right?
if money was no object, what artwork would you acquire?
bernadet: I'm doing a lot of trades with other artists, and I'm happy with that. I'm not really a collector. I guess I would rather buy a liveable, useful artwork, like a house, le Cabanon of Le Corbusier, or the Eileen Gray’s E-1027 house, both in Roquebrune Cap-Martin.
brennan: I want a Mattisse cut out painting.
is there one thing you wish you could do?
bernadet: Write books. And get my driving license.
brennan: Acquire a Mattisse cut out painting! (laugh)
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jean-baptiste bernadet was born in Paris in 1978, and has lived and worked in Brussels, Belgium, since 2000. He graduated from École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Rennes and La Cambre in Brussels, in 2002, and was artist in residence at Chinati Foundation, Marfa, USA in 2010, APT Studios in Brooklyn in 2011, and Triangle Studio (l'Institut Français) in Brooklyn in 2012. Selected solo exhibitions includeSAKS, Geneva, TORRI, Paris, Renwick Gallery, NY (2011), Galerie Maes & Matthys, Antwerp, Galerie Baronian_Francey, Brussels (2010); Galerie les Filles du Calvaire, Brussels, Chapelle des Calvairiennes, Mayenne, France, Galerie Xprssns, Hamburg (2008) and Konsortium, Dusseldorf (2007).
patrick brennan was born in Syracuse, New York and now resides in New York City. He studied at Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute and received a BFA in Painting and Video Art from Alfred University in 1998. Exhibitions include: MOMA / PS1, Nicole Klagsbrun, Monya Rowe Gallery, Zieher Smith, Edward Thorpe Gallery, Artist Space and Clifton Benevento in New York. Brennan has been awarded residencies at Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta GA, Burren College of Art (Ireland), and The Experimental Television Center Owego, NY.