< Exhibitions
History of abstraction IV. 8 squares, 8 objects
Bruno Perramant
Dec 9, 2011 - Jan 14, 2012

For his second solo exhibition at the gallery Bruno PERRAMANT presents eight new paintings under the title 8 squares, 8 objects which constitute the fourth instalment of his cycle History of abstraction, originally started in Berlin and Paris.

The Brussels proposal is unusual in so far as Perramant is not showing a diptych, triptych or polyptych and furthermore, the eight paintings are in a square format of 180 x 180 cm, which is rather rare. This format was chosen to emphasise the most radical form of abstraction.

According to the title of the cycle, History of abstraction, one might expect this exhibition to examine the notion of abstraction. However, the subject of the paintings is decidedly figurative. What matters to Perramant is an object's capacity for abstraction, not from a purely formal viewpoint but "as a power of abstraction".

Perramant's painting cannot be trapped within the confines of the figurative/abstract painting genres, and one could say that he is interested in decomposing reality, as some figurative artists and as some abstract artists have done.

Ultimately, a recurrent theme in his work is the attraction of decomposition: that of form but also of reality.

We detect a persistent loneliness in this series of eight paintings. The subjects seem to be exiles. In the same way that the mystery of existence is known to us only through discontinuities and fragments, the meaning of Perramant's paintings can only be grasped in fits and starts, through flashes and indirect references. Shreds are torn from reality and placed in a different context that creates ambiguity. There is recognition of the painted object, but the contextualization of this object allows various digressions without being able to penetrate the inexplicable apparition facing us.

We feel a great freedom in this painting; whether in terms of the themes chosen, the brush work or the chromatic range. In Perramant's work, colour is always amazing. The complexity of the greens for example, or the wide range of blue, ochre, mauve and orange are tones that are rarely encountered in contemporary painting and which give an aura of apparition or waking dream to Perramant's work.

This sense of the world suspended between two states is more obvious in the paintings that refer to the symbolic sphere (the bride, the Christmas tree) Or which question the loss of reference points (the starry sky, the dog on the abstract grid) but also those that refer to a more historic register (the ancient bowl, the Gallic warrior and the burning towers or hooded prisoners). In the latter, we sense the idea that the human condition is determined by its historical condition.

These paintings exhibit a resonance with his previous work but also establish completely new connections between them. Each painting should almost be seen as a marker (such as a Station on the Way of the Cross?) which constitutes a moment of reflection on the role of painting in today's timeframe.