Exhibition on view from May 25 to June 29, then September 3 to 14, by appointment
Opening reception: Saturday, May 25, 4-8 pm
In 2012, Bruno Kladar (born in 1969, lives and works in Paris) dedicated himself to a single painting. After having stretched it and prepared the canvas, he used oil paint to cover its surface. The work began to take shape but quickly reached its pitfall: the painting became too identifiable, too thick, "too pictorial" in the words of the artist. The work was erased with energy, the canvas reinitialized, the work recommenced. New layers of oil and ink were applied - alternating blue, red, coppery yellow, green and white - and the process repeated dozens of times. At each step, the worn cloth collected traces of its treatment and in doing so, the stretcher saw its silhouette emerge on the surface of the canvas.
The work is finished when the canvas is exhausted; it could no longer support additional processing, it is as thick in layers as translucent erasures. The colours have reached a harmony, a quietude.
Bruno Kladar titled this primary work, initiated in 2012 and completed in 2013, ‘First painting no. 1’. Each layer of painting is thus based on the remains of an old layer, according to a principle already observed in the hundreds of ‘PODs’ (‘Petites Oeuvres Démocratiques’ - Small Democratic Works) (2003-2012) for which the artist cut and reassembled pieces of an old painting to create a new work, on a different scale.
Since then, Bruno Kladar has produced seven other ‘First[s] painting[s]’ by solving various contradictions: erased layers accumulate; layers are stacked for digging; digging brings the bottom to the surface; inside and outside meet.
The ‘First paintings’ of Bruno Kladar exemplify the possibilities of our lives. These are reconciliations.
— Jean-Kenta Gauthier, 2019