Skip to navigation Skip to main content

Bernard Piffaretti

The abstract paintings of Bernard Piffaretti (b. 1955, Saint-Étienne) are about the process of painting itself. Since the mid-1980s, Piffaretti has created compositions in which the canvas is divided into two equal halves with a vertical line; the abstract image painted on one side is then repeated on the other. Rather than producing an exact copy or mirror image; this process of replication repeats what the artist calls ‘pictorial situations’, revisiting abstract forms through the actions that created them in order to reveal the pictorial process itself.

In Piffaretti’s work, the abstract motifs painted on the first side of the canvas are explicitly commonplace. Using industrial paints, he creates grids, solid and broken surfaces that vary in outline, geometric forms, series of dots, marks and splashes of colour. It is the familiarity of these forms and the repetition that allows the viewer to understand the painting as an image of painting itself. Occasionally Piffaretti leaves one side of the canvas blank, suggesting the complexity of the ‘pictorial situation’ is impossible to reproduce: The painting is complete although it suggests that the process appears ongoing.

Artworks

  1. Bernard Piffaretti Sans Titre, 1999

    Acrylique sur toile
    200 x 250 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2001
    © Photo : Rémi Villaggi

  1. Bernard Piffaretti Sans Titre, 1999

    Acrylique sur toile
    180 x 210 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2001
    © Photo : Rémi Villaggi

Marina Abramović, "Video Portrait Gallery", 1975-1998 | Collection Mudam Luxembourg | Acquisition 2001
The most important collection of contemporary art in Luxembourg Dive into our collection