Showing paintings to talk about painting. Going against actual standards, against the process, the title was then evident. For his first solo show in Belgium, Hugo Pernet is simply showing some acrylic work on canvas.
The exhibition presents itself as a slideshow, following an idea from one painting to another, or from images of paintings – the frame of untouched canvas around the painted zone can remind us of a slide. The paintings follow each other as on a carousel, we slide from one painting to another, as from one image to another, as an echo to our consumption of artwork pictures in catalogs or on the internet, and to the decline of the experience ; the experience of the paintings. The abundance of images, the multiplication of tools, and the absence of experience, is like a modern trinity that overthrows our appreciation of the work and more specifically of paintings that live today more through their reproductions than by themselves. Hugo Pernet, by framing a square in the canvas, takes a liberty of style but also opens a window, to quote Alberti’s idea, or is it a screen?
For this new series, started during the summer of 2013, Pernet has established a colored vocabulary to the detriment of black and white. For a long time he said he was “afraid of color, afraid of the result, afraid not to become the artist he wanted to be”. Then started a struggle with that very fear whish ill lead him to produce the previous series of “negatives”, large tint areas of vivid colors, like chromatic inversions of Barnett Newman or Ellsworth Kelly’s work.
Slowly moving away from the appropriation and showing great dexterity, the artist created, with the present series at Super Dakota, a new language in fauve letters and Soft-Edge gestures. A spontaneous painting, that breaks the symmetrical aspect of the gaffer tape painting, allowing him to paint quickly and if possible to enjoy it.
This instinctive language then settles for the artists and gives birth to the work in a precognitive way. “to stop following a laborious thought process about what we think we have to do but try to see the painting that we can paint, to let oneself be carried away by this vision”. Conversely to the previous series, it isn’t a logical thought but a pictorial logic, “the painting creates the painting”.
Without measures nor bearings.
The paintings are created without preparatory drawings, Hugo Pernet delineates a square in the canvas which he coats with spalter, the margin being approximately as large as the brush, “approximately” because there are no measures nor bearings in the creative process. “the tools imposed their logic”, once more to permit a spontaneity in the writing and composition.
“Paintings” then becomes a exhibition to be read and listened to as much as to be seen. A speech, or a partition played for the duration of the show and tells a story of painting, without discriminating between monochromes and more gestural paintings.
“Remembering that a painting – before it become a war horse, a naked woman, or an anecdote – is essentially a flat surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order”.
(1) “La peinture est une fenêtre ouverte sur le monde”, Alberti, De Pictura, 1435
(2) “Se rappeler qu’un tableau — avant d’être un cheval de bataille, une femme nue, ou une quelconque anecdote — est essentiellement une surface plane recouverte de couleurs en un certain ordre assemblées” Maurice Denis, Théories, 1890
* en référence en fauvisme
** Soft-Edge: par opposition au terme Hard-Edge inventé par Jules Langsner en 1959 pour désigner une tendance de l’Abstraction géométrique
Vernissage : February 27, 2014 18h-22h