Jean-Marc Bustamante: Take Something Hot and Cool it Down

20 April - 27 May 2011 London

Timothy Taylor Gallery is proud to present the fourth solo exhibition at the gallery of new works by renowned French artist, Jean-Marc Bustamante.

The exhibition will focus entirely on a new body of paintings in which Jean-Marc Bustamante continues his exploration of the philosophical and literal boundaries between painting, sculpture, photography and digital processes. These ‘paintings’ are an intriguing combination of old and new media and processes. Firstly drawing, the mythic root of art and a source of authenticity and uniqueness, is combined with hi-tech digital manipulation, translated into a sculpture bearing industrial screen-printed paint or inks. Bustamante’s paintings address the very notion of what a ‘painting’ in the digital age can be.

In this new series of works, delicate motifs suggesting natural elements such as water, earth, sky, leaves and branches, are traced in lustrous and glassy inks on the transparent and almost luminous surface of the Plexiglas. Colours and forms enjoy a sense of mutability and fluidity, as they reflect literally the conditions of light and the environment surrounding them. Many of the physical qualities of these paintings suggest parallels with the illuminated and reflective surface of the computer screen or iPad. In fact, the original watercolour drawings and sketches are digitally re-worked before production, allowing the creation and intermixing of new and intense hybrid colours, further transfigured in the finished work by the play of shadow or light.

The works on show will also challenge our understanding of what a drawing or a sketch is: the sketch becomes the finished work, rather than a preparatory stage for it: transferred via the computer into the image of the work itself. The title of the exhibition refers to this process: taking the ‘hot’ and authentic drawing and cooling it down, distancing it with the aid of the computer and the industrial production.

Establishing his career during the 1980s with the interplay of sculpture and photography, Bustamante went on to develop a form of painting in the 1990s which related to both. His Plexiglas tablets drew on the history of installation art and minimalism in the way that they responded to their physical environment, while also referencing 1990s photography, through their scale, and reflective surface. Sculptural in their physical presence and materials, industrially screen-printed, semi-abstract, semi-representational, they suggest a 21st century mode for that most ancient and persistent of media: painting.

Jean-Marc Bustamante was born in Toulouse in 1952, and now lives and works in Paris. One of Europe’s most respected artists, Bustamante represented France at the Venice Biennale in 2003. British audiences will be able to gain a better insight into his work with two collaborative and interlinking exhibitions at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (4 February – 3 April 2010), and the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (21 April – 26 June 2011), curated by Fiona Bradley, Director of The Fruitmarket Gallery, and Penelope Curtis, Director of Tate Britain, respectively. A 160-page catalogue with an introduction by Fiona Bradley and essays by Jean-Pierre Criqui, Penelope Curtis, Denys Zacharopoulos, Marianne Le Pommeré, Jean-Marc Bustamante, Jacinto Lageira, Denis Gielen and Emma Dexter has been published by The Fruitmarket Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute with the support of Timothy Taylor Gallery to coincide with these three exhibitions.

Installation Views