Bernard Pagès

Le chant des possibles

September 10 - October 31, 2020


Artist : Bernard Pagès

 Colin Lemoine: Supports/Surfaces consisted in thinking of the ‘pictorial fact’. I noted this programmatic quote, taken from the catalogue of an exhibition in 1969 in Le Havre, which is almost a manifesto: ‘The object of painting is painting itself and the pictures displayed relate only to themselves, whence the neutrality of the works presented, their absence of lyricism and expressive depth.’ Now, clearly, this somewhat morbid declaration of self-referentiality seems to me to contradict the expressive and voluptuous power of your sculpture, with your rejection of the neutrality of the place. Thus your reaction: you radically quit the movement and in 1971 decided to withdraw from the world, not to exhibit any more, not to go to Paris any more. During these four years of withdrawal …

Bernard Pagès: … I worked, I listed groups, I made series that I wrote down in notebooks, I made little things that I probably never showed, and which over time have been watered down. It was then that Bernard Ceysson decided to organise an exhibition that was fundamental for me, called Nouvelle Peinture en France: pratiques/théorie (New Painting in France: practices/theory). He invited me after seeing a group that I had made on a panel, a work based on the use of wire. I had gathered up small pieces of wire in the street, and counted and analysed the types of folds, stretches, junctions, ruptures. I thus created a kind of drawing with these wires and these small associated events. At the sight of this panel, Bernard Ceysson invited me to take part in his exhibition and, for the occasion, I drew from my works, made during these four years of withdrawal, slightly enlarged groups. From that moment, I regularly presented my work thanks to Bernard Ceysson as well as to the small team of painters who introduced me to him. So I must say that the relationship with the painters, even if it was sometimes stormy and gave rise to some bitter and perhaps rather sterile battles later on, helped me a lot. And painting too.

Extract from a conversation between Bernard Pagès and Colin Lemoine : « My work advances step by little step and in a rather faltering manner » in Bernard Pagès, The song of possible. Éditions Ceysson. 

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Ceysson & Bénétière
8 rue des Creuses 42000 Saint-Etienne

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