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As if nothing was missing...

February 03 - Extension until March 12

Opening Thursday 03 February

Press kit

Jean-Pierre Schneider

As if nothing was missing

“I could be completely abstract. It is not the subject that makes the painting. What I'm looking for is the relationship to the World, to time, to the space that surrounds us. », says Jean-Pierre Schneider.

For fifty years, however, his painting seems to have progressed by theme. Each period, in fact, bears a title which he borrows from an author with whom he has an affinity: Yves Bonnefoy, The Curved Boards, Stig Dagerman, "no one can demand that the sea carry all the boats", Jean Genet, Le Funambule... Sometimes it is in painting and its history that he will draw his inspiration, thus confessing his passion for certain masters: Manet, Cézanne or Caravaggio. Themes and references exist, but they are like a trigger, a means of painting that never leads to confinement. To qualify the whole of a work, Schneider rejects the term "series", preferring that of "suite", in reference to music. To paint is to interpret freely, to make variations.

It is therefore the desire to paint that motivates him above all. He says: “I am first of all a painter who dialogues with the surface, who balances himself, who becomes unbalanced, who finds himself in any case. »

The material is generous, thick, it overflows from the canvas. He “charges” the painting, but always denies being a materialist painter. So he smoothes its surface, as if to calm it down and inscribe the essential. The surface become skin of his canvas, velvety, matte, nourished with marble powder mixed with pigments, recalls the softness of the frescoes of the Quattrocento.

Today, Schneider paints amphoras. Why ? The simplicity of the form, he says, reminds him of the essential principles of drawing: the curve and the straight line of the axis. Way, by this reference to an archaic subject, to return to the original principle of drawing.

The jar, or the amphora, was used, in remote times, to transport rare commodities: oil, wine. It is thus a symbol of life, whose rounded shape, like a belly, also evokes childbirth.

This simple, hieratic form embodies the woman. Today, Jean Pierre Schneider links it to a poem by Yannis Ritsos, “Old women and the sea”. From this, he extracts these few words “As if nothing was missing...”, which he engraves in his mineral matter. The jar woman, this straight form, nobly erected, reveals the true subject. Praise of dignity.

In all his compositions, whether “the jars”, “the leaning man”, or the “piers”, Jean-Pierre Schneider deals with the exchange between space and the subject. He paints: air, earth, water, become space that becomes matter. Painting is a concrete way of questioning our relationship to the world. With both hands, the artist pulls on his knife, spreads his paste, digs, engraves, then touches the surface. Painting is traversed, painting is presence. The one who crosses is modified by his crossing. He who crosses modifies the world by his crossing.

Berthet-Aittouares Gallery
14 and 29 rue de Seine

Tuesday Saturday
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
T: +33 (0)1 43 26 53 09

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