Bernard Piffaretti solo Exhibition at Lisson Gallery in Los Angeles

Bernard Piffaretti; Untitled, 2001; Acrylic on canvas; 250 x 200 x 3 cm; 98 3/8 x 78 3/4 x 1 1/8 in; © Bernard Piffaretti, Courtesy Lisson Gallery; shared with permission
  • Who: Bernard Piffaretti
  • What: Je n’ai jamais peint un tableau récent
  • When: 12 April – 8 June 2024
  • Where: Los Angeles

Lisson Gallery is thrilled to announce its first solo exhibition of works by renowned French artist Bernard Piffaretti in Los Angeles. The exhibition, spanning from 1987 to 2019, will feature 12 large-scale paintings, showcasing the artist’s distinctive “Piffaretti system” for the first time at this iconic venue.

For over four decades, Bernard Piffaretti has captivated the art world with his unique painting method, now famously known as the “Piffaretti system.” Each of his canvases is bisected by a vertical line, with Piffaretti painting a spontaneous composition on one side and then meticulously replicating it on the other. This method creates a deliberate ambiguity, challenging viewers to ponder which side was painted first, thereby questioning notions of originality, authenticity, and completion.

Upon entering the gallery, visitors are immediately engaged in a visual dialogue between Piffaretti’s abstract works. The exhibition thoughtfully curates paintings from various periods of his career, emphasizing his oeuvre as a constantly refined singular work. This collection includes pieces created over a span of 30 years, tracing back to some of Piffaretti’s earliest implementations of his signature motif.

Bernard Piffaretti; Untitled, 2002; Acrylic on canvas; 250 x 200 x 3 cm; 98 3/8 x 78 3/4 x 1 1/8 in; © Bernard Piffaretti, Courtesy Lisson Gallery; shared with permission

The oldest piece on display, an untitled work from 1987, exemplifies the artist’s early exploration of the “central mark.” As visitors progress through the exhibition, they encounter recurring elements and evolving techniques, such as the lattice structure in a 1990 untitled piece and the multicolored bulbous shapes in another from 2008. These motifs reappear in works from 2005 and 1994, showcasing the continuity and evolution of Piffaretti’s artistic language.

Piffaretti’s commitment to repetition and historical references is central to his methodology. The exhibition’s title, inspired by a 1969 quote from Man Ray, “I have never painted a recent painting,” reflects Piffaretti’s belief that no artwork is entirely new. Every piece is a dialogue with its predecessors, echoing influences from iconic artists like Marcel Duchamp, Henri Matisse, Barnett Newman, and Andy Warhol. Piffaretti’s works serve as a physical manifestation of his inclination to question and reinterpret the traditions of painting.

Bernard Piffaretti; Untitled, 2014; Acrylic on canvas; 250 x 200 x 4 cm; 98 3/8 x 78 3/4 x 1 5/8 in; © Bernard Piffaretti, Courtesy Lisson Gallery; shared with permission

About Bernard Piffaretti

Born in Saint-Étienne in 1955, Bernard Piffaretti has based his practice on the analysis and repetition of painting components. After studying at the School of Fine Arts in Saint-Étienne, he solidified the “Piffaretti system” in 1986. This protocol underpins every work he produces: each is composed of two seemingly identical panels separated by a vertical strip, one attempting to duplicate the other. The distinction between the original and the copy often blurs, highlighting the inherent imperfection of replication. Piffaretti also creates drawings after his paintings, reversing the traditional concept of preparatory sketches.

Piffaretti has exhibited internationally, with notable solo exhibitions at Lisson Gallery in Shanghai, Surplus Space in Wuhan, and galerie frank elbaz in Paris, among others. His works have been featured in major group exhibitions worldwide, affirming his influence and relevance in contemporary art.

Bernard Piffaretti; Untitled, 2019; Acrylic on canvas; 240 x 200 x 3 cm; 94 1/2 x 78 3/4 x 1 1/8 in; © Bernard Piffaretti, Courtesy Lisson Gallery; shared with permission

About Lisson Gallery

Lisson Gallery, one of the most influential and long-standing international contemporary art galleries, supports and promotes over 60 international artists across its spaces in London, New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, and Beijing. Established in 1967, Lisson Gallery has pioneered the careers of significant Minimal and Conceptual artists and continues to raise the profile of contemporary talents across the globe.

Bernard Piffaretti; Untitled, 1990; Acrylic on canvas; 194 x 247 x 3.8 cm; 76 3/8 x 97 1/4 x 11/2 in; Photo by Claire Dorn;
Courtesy of the artist and galerie frank elbaz; shared with permission

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