Jean-Baptiste Bernadet showed new work at the Locker Plant in December 2010. Bernadet works in painting and sculpture. His paintings are abstract and come in different sizes, from very small to large. Bernadet may start with some notion of subject—an idea about landscape, for example—but there is no attempt to portray or represent. Similarly, he tries to avoid those marks and markers that have come to signify “abstract painting”: big brushy brushwork, gestural sleight-of-hand, etc. Instead his aim is to let the painting itself direct the process by which it is made. An initiating mark, or a color, might act as a hypothesis of sorts, a provisional statement which leads to another, then another. There is a skepticism built in to the process, a humorous doubt. Sometimes the artist’s work features texts-paintings “of,” or “with,” or ‘about” words. The texts, usually but not always in English, take the forms of slogans, injunctions, or confessions: HALO, VICIOUS, HOLA CONQUISTADOR, I WILL RUN AFTER YOU, BACK TO REALITY, I WANT MUSCLES. Some of these text-snippets are cropped from pop songs, and their vacuity is perhaps part of the attraction—Bernadet has compared himself to a foreign rock musician singing in English.
Jean-Baptiste Bernadet was born in Paris in 1978 and educated at the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Rennes, France, and the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels-La Cambre in Brussels. He has participated in many group shows since 2000 at such venues as WIELS, Brussels (2009 and 2010), Galerie Crèvecoeur, Paris (2009), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tourcoing (2005), and Galerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels (2004). He has had solo exhibitions at, among others, Maes & Matthys, Antwerp, Baronian Francey, Brussels (2010); Galerie les Filles du Calvaire, Brussels, Chapelle des Calvairiennes, Mayenne, France, and Galerie Xprssns, Hamburg (2008); and Konsortium, Dusseldorf (2007). Bernadet lives in Brussels.