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Sans titre

Sans titre, 1985

Jean-Marie Bertholin
  • Artist (1936)

The sculptor and ceramicist Jean-Marie Bertholin, who was born in 1936 in Granges-sur-Vologne, produces monumental-looking works presented in the form of series of elements.  The blocks made of paper treated with water, fire and varnish, are like heavy steles, arranged in groups, whose units are organized as parts of a whole and not necessarily in accordance with any previously fixed order and logic.  The work is thus put back together again with every new incorporation in a site.  Twenty-nine elements made of paper and board, treated, painted and burnt, define the work Sans titre/Untitled covering nine square metres (100 sq.ft.) on the floor.  The ambiguity of the matter which visually resembles concrete or some permanent material, refers to the idea of construction site and beams placed there for a construction to come.  It also evokes the enigmatic and sacred character of dolmens, for example.  Bertholin’s art takes on a cultural connection with ritual, repetitive and coded practices at the service of another reality.  His work is visited and discovered in displacement, and, from the hieraticism of the monolithic units thus springs a dynamic created by the interstices, gaps and endlessly varied viewpoints over the vertical and horizontal blocks.

Nadine Labedade