Untitled, 2016 | Courtesy the Artist and Klemm’s, Berlin
Since the 1980s, Bernard Piffaretti has conceived images referring to the ideas of ‘restart’ and ‘recollection’ – which are inherent to his self-referential approach. Neither windows to the world, nor depicted notions, each of his works presents itself as a holistic reflection on painting.
The painter creates an anti-authoritarian aspect by placing a vertical line on the central axis of the canvas. By separating the canvas into two halves, he creates the vantage point for his procedure: duplication as method. After finishing the first half, he continues with its reiteration on the other side of the dividing line. What appears plain and simple at first is revealed to be deeply essential to the work itself.
Whereas a copy would be condemned to failure, Piffaretti´s work is concerned with the transitory momentum that comes into effect through the presence of the separating line. It not only enables an awareness of the painting process, but also creates distance to the seemingly expressive style. When faced with duplication, different kinds of questions can be raised that might otherwise seem, in the context of a one-fold tableau, misplaced.