Playing with our relationship to reality, Bertrand Lavier emphasises the endless back and forth between the art world and popular culture, overlaying manufactured objects with his cultural references. In 1977, Le Journal de Mickey published an episode entitled Des traits très abstraits [‘Very Abstract Lines’], in which Mickey and Minnie could be seen investigating a modern art museum, surrounded as they were by the objects of the museum’s collection. With Walt Disney Productions 1947-2019, Bertrand Lavier took what had been no more than the scenery for Mickey’s and Minnie’s adventure and reproduced these objects as faithfully as possible, paintings and sculptures representative of modern art through Disney’s own prism now coming to life in reality. e painting hung on a yellow wall makes light of a double, vertiginous movement:
the viewer enters into the reality of the cartoon strip, while the represented image enters into the real world. With Bertrand Lavier’s work, the viewer is always faced with a oating entity: she contemplates neither a piano nor a painting and yet this object could just as well be called a piano or a painting. Reality is turned inside out like a glove.
e Walt Disney Productions have been shown at a range of institutions, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Kunstmuseum Luzern, the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein in Vaduz, and the Castello di Rivoli in Turin.
A group of Walt Disney Productions sculptures is currently on show in the garden of the Hotel Le Bristol Paris until 20 November 2019. In a worksite begun in 1984, Bertrand Lavier paints over not just an object but an object that shows other objects: the mirror. In its essence, the mirror embodies the almost perfect imitation of reality. With Ramlösa, a mirror covered in Lavier’s meta-signature—in this case a translucent version of the van Gogh touch—the artist has created a new experience for the viewer, who nds herself face to face with her own re ection blurred to the point of becoming a moving painting by Bertrand Lavier. At once the same and another, aesthetic illusion exists for the artist only if the correct distance is preserved.
is work was shown as a part of Lavier’s exhibition ‘L’a aire tournesols’ at the Vincent van Gogh Foundation in Arles in 2015. If the history of movements in painting is traditionally formed around the gesture of placing paint on a canvas, Bertrand Lavier prolongs this history. With Nobilis no2, he has covered a bolt of upholstery fabric with his own pictorial touch and layer, repeating the
patterns of the underlying support. It thus becomes a question whether the representation of an abstract pattern belongs to the domain of guration. e title of the work comes from the original fabric, produced by the fabric and wallpaper manufacturer Nobilis. Internationally renowned artist Bertrand Lavier uses the word ‘chantier’ [worksite] where others will talk about a series. For him, the word indicates the permanently open, permanently interrogative nature of the di erent groups of his work. He doesn’t proceed progressively or by stages, but rather deals with recurrent questions, endlessly moving from one kind of work to another, blurring the boundaries between painting and sculpture, sculpture and object, reality and representation.
Together the works exhibited by kamel mennour for TEFAF New York, which have been drawn from a number of di erent ‘worksites’, are representative not only of Lavier’s artistic practice, but also of its continuity, creating an amused history of painting according to Bertrand Lavier, beginning in 1980. At this time, Lavier was ‘representing’ all sorts of objects by painting directly onto them with his van Gogh touch. With these veritable trompe-l’œil, with the merging of the model and its representation pushed to the extreme, it becomes impossible to distinguish the one from the other.
Born in 1949 in Châtillon-sur-Seine (France), BERTRAND LAVIER lives and works in Paris
and Aignay-le-Duc, near Dijon (France).
His work has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world: at the Centre Pompidou, the Musée d’Art Moderne
de la Ville de Paris, the Grand Palais, the Louvre Museum, the Musée d’Orsay, the Palais de Tokyo, the Monnaie de Paris, the Château de Versailles, the Fondation Vincent van Gogh in Arles, the Consortium in Dijon, the Tate Gallery and the Serpentine Gallery in London, the Villa Sauber
in Monaco, the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, the Haus der Kunst in Munich, the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel, the Frankfurter Kunstverein in Frankfurt am Main, the MAMCO in Geneva, the Kunsthalle in Berne, the Punta della Dogana–Pinault Collection in Venice, the Macro–Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma and the Villa Medici
in Rome, the mumok–museum moderner
kunst stiftung ludwig wien in Vienna, the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, the MoMA PS1 and the Swiss Institute in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the Maison Hermès Dosan Park in Seoul, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, as well as part of the Venice Biennale.
His work was recently exhibited at the Couvent des Jacobins in Rennes—as part of the exhibition « Debout ! » presenting works from the Pinault Collection—, as well as at the Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo, and at the Middelheim Museum in Antwerp.
A solo exhibition of the artist is on show at kamel mennour (47 rue Saint-André-des-Arts, Paris 6), from April 18th, to May 25th, 2019.