Surprise appearance at Frieze: Bernard Piffaretti

At Frieze New York yesterday, in the densely hung Galerie Frank Elbaz booth, I stumbled upon two fantastic paintings by  Bernard Piffaretti, a French abstract painter who wasn’t included in Frieze’s  list of participating artists.

Readers may recall that in 2010 Piffaretti (b. 1955) was included in “Le Tableau,” a group show of French post-war abstraction curated by Joe Fyfe, and, earlier this year, Piffaretti had a solo show at Cherry and Martin –his first US solo in a decade. Piffaretti is known for his intellectual approach to abstraction and a seemingly rigid, systematic painting process. After dividing his large canvases in two equal vertical sections, Piffaretti paints one half intuitively and then paints the second half exactly like the first.

“The simple act of redoing almost identically everything (every think) that was painted the first time around has the effect of cutting off any subjective effects due to the painting�s form, style or color, so that it is now just painting,” Piffaretti told Joe Fyfe in a 2006 Bombsite interview. It is not a copy, because a copy is made in relation to a final state. It really is a matter of displacement, of a wholly repeated time. “

Piffaretti describes the process as “self-cannibalism,” which raises interesting questions about authenticity, originality, and how we make images.

Bernard Piffaretti, Galerie Frank Elbaz booth, Frieze New York. Through May 13, 2013.

Images above: Both by Bernard Piffaretti, but no other information was available.

Stay tuned: More Frieze coverage to come.

Related posts:
Frieze: Unprimed immediacy (2013)

Joe Fyfe’s studio visit with Bernard Piffaretti, circa 2003
The French connection at Cheim & Read (2010)


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  1. Jonny from New York

    Nice catch. I saw and really liked the paintings, too, but was damned if I could identify the artist.

  2. Cherry and Martin is in LA.

  3. Thanks Todd. Corrected it.

  4. http://www.bernardpiffaretti.com/ for more paintings and news…

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