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Palissade N°5

Palissade N°5, 1981-1982

Jean-Pierre Pincemin
  • Artist (1944 - 2005)

At a very early age, Jean-Pierre Pincemin (1944-2005), who started out as a wood turner, visited the Louvre, where he discovered and admired classical painters, and, above all, Veronese. His recognized debut happened in 1967, at the Salon de la Jeune Sculpteur, where he showed constructions made of off-cuts of wood, piled up. Up until 1969, he produced a long series of experiments on free canvas, without stretchers, printing on them objects steeped in dye (corrugated iron, railings, planks…). Then in 1969 he created his first Carrés-collés, serial repetitions of squares of canvas steeped, dyed and glued or sewn as rhythmic surfaces. In 1971, he joined the Supports/Surfaces movement, in the footsteps of Viallat, Bioulès, Saytour, Dezeuze, Cane, Devade and Arnal. Like them he dissected the picture object to expose its components (frame, stretcher, paint) and emphasized its ambiguous, deceptive nature as a false window on reality. This interest in the physical nature of the object would be a constant factor in his work. He would duly observe: “I see painting as a mechanics in which it is necessary to produce disorders”. In developing a mixed praxis, abstract and figurative painting, painting and sculpture, and working away from the mainstream in a small town in Beauce (Authon-la-Plaine), he enjoyed constant support, visible in particular in the retrospectives which were devoted to his work in the mid-1990s, and is regarded as one of the great postwar French artists. It was in 1974 that Pincemin started to develop the series of Palissades and Portails, large architectured canvases, composed of wide vertical and horizontal strips. In 1976, those works developed towards almost monochrome paintings, built up in successive layers, with a space strictly divided into strips and edges. By creating these false “palisades” and real paintings, Pincemin played on the contrasts between abstract art (where the “monochrome” is one of the great “genres” worked by many artists from Malevich to Ryman) and figurative art (the palisade). In a broader sense, with this series Pincemin questions the role of art in relation to reality, a questioning that was already present in his early works (found wood, reworked, becoming sculpture).

Nadine Labedade