“Bertrand Lavier”

Bertrand Lavier, an a cappella interview

Following a long collaboration with the gallerist Yvon Lambert, Bertrand Lavier is, for the first time, showing work at the Almine Rech gallery. The artist is presenting a set of works from different “construction sites”, series that he gradually picks up over time as his work evolves. A guided tour.   Bertrand, your exhibition starts with a “painting room”… Here, I present several series of works, including new “Walt Disney Productions”. These works have classic frames, which give them a kitsch insolence. Stemming from one fiction – the one drawn by Walt Disney – they tip over to another – one associated with the field of art. These bright white wooden frames with foliage and arabesques highlight their artificial aspect. This is the first time that you’re using frames even if they were already present in the 1947 Walt Disney cartoon Mickey at the Museum of Modern Art. The Walt Disney Productions “construction site” started in 1984 with a series of Cibachromes, then ink jets on canvas until 2013, the year when I started painting on these prints. It was also in 1984 that I started covering mirrors with a “Van Gogh touch”. From 2011, I stopped covering their entire surface but instead would paint them with a “brushstroke touch” immortalised by Roy Lichtenstein. This way, I appropriated a fundamental gesture from contemporary painting and used it on the mirrors and Walt Disney Productions. This gesture, freer than the “Van Gogh” touch, allows me to easily follow the curves of painted motifs. For the Walt Disney Productions presented here, the fact that the whole of the canvas isn’t covered with paint means that the motif of the serigraphed outline is left visible, showing the stages preceding the final result. Have you used all the works that Mickey and Minnie discover...

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Bertrand Lavier at the Xavier Huftons, Brussels

The gallery Xavier Huftons, in Brussels, in Belgian, will be hosting the exhibition “Walt Disney Series” by Bertrand Lavier. The Walt Disney Productions series, started in 1984 and is made out of enlargements made by Lavier. These abstract paintings and sculptures are reproduced from those sketched by Mickey Mouse’s creator in Le Journal de Mickey, when the eponymous hero takes an adventure into a museum of modern art. The artist thus reproduced, with input from his imagination, fictional works which themselves were real (as the author would have observed these works from a museum of modern art). By isolating these elements of decorum and reproducing them at their life-size, he gives to fiction the status of a work of art. “I realised […] that they were good paintings! That’s what’s amazing! Those paintings came out of a kind of an average imagination but actually fulfil their purposes in reality…” Bertrand Lavier said. Betrand Lavier (born in 1949) lives and works in Paris. In 2012 he had a major retrospective at the Georges Pompidou Centre, in Paris. The “Walt Disney Series” was previously exhibited in 2002 at the en musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris. Since the late 1960s, Lavier has reflected upon the relationship between painting and sculpture, representation and abstraction, life and art. In order to shape his ideas, Lavier developed a series of ‘demonstrations’: methods and strategies that enable him to question our intellectual baggage and to disrupt our most entrenched visual...

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Bertrand Lavier at the Yvon Lambert Gallery

Paris, 25 September 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). From 12 September to 12 October 2013, Yvon Lambert is to hosts its fifth solo exhibition of works by Bertrand Lavier. For the event, the artist has created a series of new works centered on the theme of Walt Disney Productions, offering a new perspective on a series begun by the company in 1947. An imaginary version of the Museum of Modern Art first appeared in a Mickey Mouse comic strip, created by Disney Studios in 1947. Lavier, however, waiting until the 1980s to extract the images from their original context, transposing two and three dimensional pieces onto canvases and paper. For his exhibition at Yvon Lambert, the artist is to offer a wholly new perspective on the series, integrating it into his own work for the first time. Born in 1949 in Châtillon-sur-Seine, Lavier lives and works between Paris and Aignay-le-Duc, in Burgundy. Having studied as a horticultural engineer, he began a self-taught artistic career, challenging the very foundations of modern art, be it in the ready-made way of Duchamp, or the paintings of Van Gogh, with an unparalleled humorous language. Since 1969 Lavier has been inviting the public to free themselves of their convictions. To do this, he plays with categories, codes, genres and materials, creating a hybridization, a cross-fertilization. He is currently one of the most popular artists in France, as shown by his numerous solo exhibitions, the most recent being the major retrospective of his work and the Centre Pompidou in 2012. His works also feature in the permanent collections of many major institutions, including the musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the Daimler Contemporary in Berlin, the Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam and the MOCA Grand Avenue...

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The most important donation of the 21st century in France

Paris, 10 July 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). Last week, Parisian gallery owner Yvon Lambert signed a donation of 550 works, valued at €90M, to the French State. Yvon Lambert had made this decision twenty years ago, but it was just recently formalized on 18 November 2011. He almost abandoned the plan due to administrative sluggishness. In a statement to the AFP, Lambert explained: “In France, it isn’t easy to give a collection. Examples of failed meetings between the State and major collectors are plentiful in our art history”. He also stated that he had been discouraged by the lack of interest and ignorance shown by some. Moreover, he wanted to ensure that his collection would have an exhibition space worthy of the works it would be displaying. The collection has been stored at the Hôtel de Caumont in Avignon under the supervision of Mr. Mézil. During last autumn, the State agreed to have the exhibition space expanded to include the Hôtel Montfaucon, currently the School of Fine Arts in Avignon, adjacent to the Hôtel Caumont. The €8M required to turn the school into a museum will be provided by the State. Construction is expected to last until 2015. The opening will take place in the presence of French President François Hollande. Yvon Lambert’s donation is the largest of its kind to the French State since Étienne Moreau-Nélaton’s gift to the Louvre Museum in 1906, which included a few masterpieces by Delacroix, Corot, Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Géricault. Over the course of 50 years, the art dealer gathered around 550 works by artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Bertrand Lavier, Cy Twombly, Robert Ryman, Sol LeWitt, Nan Goldin, Daniel Buren, Christian Boltanski, Douglas Gordon, Andres Serrano, Anselm Kiefer, and Miquel...

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