top of page

Gallery Myriam Chair is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of artist Bernard Bousquet at the gallery. Reciprocal presents a collection of paintings on paper, canvas and fabric as well as clothing from the B.Painted collection created by Bernard Bousquet. 

During the opening , Léa Bridarolli and Eneas Vaca Bualo of the Ensemble/K/inêtikos, dressed in the textile works B. Painted by Bernard Bousquet, presented a dance performance accompanied by a DJ set by DJ-Reïne.

Through the free use of silk-screen printing, painting on paper and cotton canvas, on textile and clothing scraps, Bernard Bousquet's "DIY painting" asserts itself on alternative supports. In his early days, Bernard Bousquet began painting on coated paper and canvas, before experimenting with new supports linked to natural fibres. These experiments offer different properties that change the appearance of a painting that can freely inhabit both sides of the work, the canvas, the paper, and the textile.


There is a continuity between painting on canvas and on textile. In both cases, the link to natural fibres and their diversity gives the artist a sensitive, even emotional relationship with the medium. The cotton canvases, like the silk, wool or linen fabrics, contribute to the indeterminacy of the pieces exhibited, which can take the form of two-sided paintings, clothing or imposing sections of painted scrolls, unrolled from floor to ceiling.


The work on textile, a universal and perceptive material of text and texture, represents a form of liberation, of global thinking of space, outside the frame. As a membrane that organically connects objects to their environment, the painted surfaces place it under a contaminating influence and modulate it architecturally through colour and pattern.

They spread out in all directions, as if to transcend the physical boundaries of the work, while at the same time hooking the eye on what is its host. In the early 1920s, the Futurist painter Giacomo Balla advocated a different spatiality of objects and their environments. Balla had designed real chromatic environments where painting and objects were combined in a single architectural unit, such as the interior of his house in Rome, the Casa Balla (1914-1920). The painter's coloured forms are projected in all directions of the space, on the walls, the ceiling, the floor, the furniture and chandeliers that emerge from it, but also on the clothes hanging in the entrance, until they transcend the formal limits in a chromatic explosion. In the same way, Bernard Bousquet nourishes the wish to cover all the surfaces of the space, in the discovery of the properties of this free architectonics.


As structural components, these expressive surfaces participate in a reconciliation between the grid and the original dimension of the fabric. A reading of geometric abstraction, close to mathematics and linguistics, has often been opposed to a material and sensitive approach, which was associated with artists working with textiles in the 1970s. The relationship with textiles is first and foremost tactile - and tactile through gesture and the presence of the body. Bousquet's links with the performing arts have been present in his practice as a painter for several decades. At the end of the 1980s, Bousquet followed a course by Gina Pane in Paris, which introduced him to performance art, before taking part in one of the very first performance art symposiums in France, in Lyon. Between 1987 and 2001, Bernard Bousquet collaborated with choreographer Anne Dreyfus, for whom he produced the set and stage design. In 2006, they co-founded the Générateur in Gentilly, an artist-run space for contemporary creation, installed in a former cinema. In 2013, Bousquet transformed the Générateur into a huge studio where he unravelled the thread of his pictorial practice during residencies. He added a sound dimension to the project by teaming up with musician Jean-François Pauvros. The sound responds to the monumental paintings, to their wefts and optical vibrations. In 2017, and again in 2020 when the artist presents "Reciprocal", he surrounds himself with performers, musicians and dancers who reinvest the whole building. Huge rolls of fabric participate in a dialogue with these dance performances.


On the interwoven weave of the canvases as of the textile, Bousquet goes in search of a measure. The repetition of motifs and their optical variations, through the subtle play of chromatic combinations and phase shifts, propagate into all dimensions of the painted space. Chance and the generative process are at the heart of his practice. The use of digital technology and processing software allows for a generative design, with random functions. An initial motif, by progressive shifting and following, produces an order and a mathematical sequence.

Is it a grid, or rather a rhythmic pattern similar to a musical code, which can be diffused throughout their sensory environments? The proximity of pictorial concepts to those of musical language bears witness to a sharing of common writing processes. Here an art of time and movement is created, making pictorial space and musical temporality coexist.

Olivier Zeitoun

bottom of page