I remember as a child lying on my back staring at the clouds, seeing things I knew were only in my imagination. Even as you would point these imaginary shapes out to others, you knew, even if they said they saw them, they never quite saw exactly what you saw. You can get a similar feeling when looking at Jean-Baptiste's paintings. Not that you are necessarily looking for recognizable images in the paintings, but that you are standing in front of something that evokes that type of dreamlike thought. So much painting today deals with irony and humor. I guess this is an attempt to make painting have a more contemporary voice. What this leaves us with is the feeling of having just watched a YouTube video of a cat falling out of an armchair. This isn't, to me, the role of painting. Painting is romantic. There is no denying that. We all accept by now that heroism is over, but that doesn't mean we have to give up. Jean-Baptiste is a searcher. Someone that is looking for a meaning in his practice. The lyrical place in his paintings offers us all the possibility to dream. Something we should all take advantage of when the opportunity arises.
Stephen Felton, Catskill Mountains, August 2018
Frontrunner Magazine Interview
Jean-Baptiste Bernadet :
Between Spectacle and Subversion
Essay by Alex Bacon, 2016
English and French PDF
A Summer Talk
Interview with Anne Pontégnie
English and French PDF
Art Press 433, May 2016
English and French PDF
Piero Bisello in Conceptual Fine Art
Alex Bacon in Brooklyn Rail
Megan Christiansen in
Post New Interview, 2013
Christopher Schreck in
Le Salon, 2012
If There is a Chance, 2011
An exceptional colorist, Jean-Baptiste Bernadet constructs atmospheric worlds in his paintings, where nature, sensation, and the psyche are front and center. In a carefully constructed in-between zone bounded by abstraction and landscape painting, his incandescent oranges, full, candid purples, sulfurous yellows, faded pale greens, and deep grays produce worlds where a landscape, its unique memory, and the imagination interact, directed by the eye and the mind. In Jean-Baptiste Bernadet’s work, the act of looking, which is both transitory and continual, melancholic and elated, joins feeling, which is here envisioned as a series of emotions, a patchwork of romantic recollections and introspections, whirling perceptions inspired by the passage of time. In his intimate relationship to memory and his deep desire to transcend linear time, the work of Jean-Baptiste Bernadet is similar to the Proustian spirit. Ultimately, the purpose of his painting is painting itself, all the while giving viewers the freedom of projecting their own experiences onto the surface.
Born in Paris in 1978, he lives and works in Brussels, and was artist-in-residence at Triangle Studios in Brooklyn in 2012, APT Studios in Brooklyn in 2011, and Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas, in 2010.
His solo exhibitions include, among others, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen (2020), Almine Rech in Brussels (2022, 2020, 2016), Marfa Book Company in Marfa, Texas (2019, 2015, 2013), Alon Segev in Tel Aviv (2019, 2017), Almine Rech in Paris and Mascota in Mexico (2018), Valentin in Paris (2021, 2017, 2015), Michael Jon & Alan in Miami (2017), Almine Rech Gallery in London (2016), Retrospective in Hudson, NY, American Contemporary in New York City, Rod Barton in London (2014), Karma in New York City (2014), Torri in Paris, Renwick in New York City (2011), the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas (2010).
Since 2001, he has also participated in many group shows, including at the Song Museum in Beijing and Almine Rech Gallery in Shanghai, Muhka in Antwerp (2019), NICC in Brussels, Halsey McKay in East Hampton, Ribordy in Geneva (2018), Musée de Valence (2016), Almine Rech in Paris, Michael Jon & Alan in Miami, Neochrome in Turin (2015), WIELS in Brussels (2015, 2010 and 2009), Valentin in Paris, Ricou Gallery and Super Dakota Gallery in Brussels (2014), Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles (2013), Angstrom in Dallas, Texas, Klemm's Gallery in Berlin (2012), 8 rue Saint Bon in Paris, White Flags in Saint Louis, Missouri (2011), Galerie Crèvecoeur in Paris (2009), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tourcoing (2006).
Works by the artist are included in the permanent collections of Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Fonds National d'Art Contemporain / Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Roveretto, MAC VAL Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Collection des Arts Plastiques de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Mac’s Musée des Arts Contemporains de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Thalie Foundation amongst others.