Bernard Piffaretti Kombi

15/09/2023 - 28/10/2023

Prinzessinnenstrasse 29 
10969 Berlin


Bernard Piffaretti (b. 1955 in St Etienne, lives in Paris) belongs to the central positions in the field of conceptual, contemporary painting. Since the late 1980s, his work has been determined by the idiosyncratic principle of repetition – the establishment of the ‘image double’, which finds its unity on the canvas.
At the origin of each work, Piffaretti follows a fixed protocol. As a première geste, the artist sets a vertical, coloured line. On one side of the canvas – thus divided in the middle – the pictorial idea is developed, which is subsequently realised a second time on the other side. This happens with immense formal and compositional security, without technical aids, swiftly, and confidently.
While a copy would be doomed to failure, Piffaretti’s work is concerned with the transitory momentum that comes into effect through the presence of a visual dividing line. This conceptual approach not only enables a surprisingly concrete awareness of the painting process and of the ‘becoming of the picture’ per se, but simultaneously creates thoughtful distance to the seemingly spontaneous yet formally precise painting style. With this peculiar methodology, Piffaretti strikingly succeeds in raising the most diverse questions deeply connected with the medium of painting.
“Kombi” is the title of Bernard Piffaretti’s fourth solo exhibition at Klemm’s. The intellectual starting point is a playful yet distanced reflection on the once emblematic and still popular function of the ‘Kombi’ (Kombinationswagen) and the possibility offered through its multiple uses to discover the world. Piffaretti combines this concept both spatially and temporally over the course of the exhibition with the idea of a traditional “Cabinet of Curiosities”: his painterly repertoire can be explored by the viewer in a wide variety of ways – right down to the ‘iconographic’ margins of his canvases.