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Jean-Baptiste Bernadet

The abstract painter balancing the reinvented and the familiar.

Jean-Baptiste Bernadet’s oeuvre shows an evolving investigation of numerous artistic styles. His paintings shift from minimalistic to impressionistic to monochromatic seamlessly.

For Bernadet this experimentation with differing styles is necessary, if unavoidable. He sees these stylistic shifts as a representation of life’s unescapable uncertainty.

Two paintings from Bernadet’s Fugue series.

But while Bernadet does not restrict his art to a particular style, he examines each new style he assumes in depth, frequently creating series of works that investigate a single composition or aesthetic.

“I don’t feel any certainty about life, so I want my work to reflect that uncertainty. I will never be the kind of artist who does one thing.” — Jean-Baptiste Bernadet (W Magazine)

Across styles, his works are further united by their aesthetic totality: Bernadet seeks to create paintings that obscure their own origins. He does not want viewers to discern the origin or separate elements of the work, but to accept the world wholly, like hearing a burst of music.

Vetiver, 2012 (Karma)

And thus the balanced tension that categorizes Bernadet’s art emerges: it is changing yet steadfastly focused, reinvented yet theoretically connected to preceding works.

“While [Bernadet’s] approach doesn’t have a linear structure, everything he does is interconnected.” — Matthew Dipple, Founder, American Contemporary.

But perhaps what characterizes Bernadet’s work most is an inability to settle. He is a painter continually searching, along with his viewers for answers within art.

Jean-Baptiste Bernadet in front of one of the paintings from his Vetiver series.

“I’m not pretending I’m a Master or a visionary. I’m just searching for something, and I think that’s what the viewer and I have in common, in art as in life. That’s how we are fragile, humans, and humanists.”

— Jean-Baptiste Bernadet

Jean-Baptiste Bernadet lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. He has had solo exhibits at American Contemporary in New York City, Red Barton in London, Karma in New York City, Casado Santapau in Madrid and Torri in Paris. He has completed residencies with Triangle Arts in Brooklyn, APT Studios in Brooklyn and the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.

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The post was written with the help of Alice Mahoney.



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