23 September 2017 - 15 November 2017
with text by Michele D'Aurizio
was born in St. Priest (France) in 1984, lives and works in Paris.
Jonathan Binet makes paintings with a marked character as objects, though at the same time they are clearly graphic, like drawings traced on the wall of the exhibition space. Balanced between drawing and sculpture, but also between abundant forms and terse geometric formulations; assemblages and deconstructions; “finished” and “unfinished”. Distributed in the exhibition space according to installation logic that calls into play the autonomy of the work and its relationship to the context, Binet’s paintings are “fields of possibility” in which the artist asserts his right to creative freedom. This assertion is an empirical procedure, of stops and starts, errors, changes of direction. The results are ghosts of harmonious compositions, because they manifest the will of the artist to be extraneous to any discursive, productive and distributive apparatus of painting.
Among the works Binet has made for Galleria Mazzoli, there are both new iterations of gestures explored by the artist in the past, and new approaches to the painting-object. The first group might include, for example, the paintings made by wedging a can of spray paint between the canvas and the stretcher: the canvas applies pressure to the valve and makes the paint emerge, so the painting “paints itself.” In these works Binet confirms what might be called a true “refusal” both to paint the canvas and to “impregnate” it with his own artistic subjectivity. The precipitate of his gesture, in fact, is an imprecise, ambiguous sign whose interpretation is left up to the viewer.
Alongside these works, Binet presents paintings on canvas made in the past but recently reworked – or, more precisely, uprooted, smashed and dismembered – and then crossed on an iron frame. These works emerge from a gesture that is perhaps more ruthless than the one described above, a true attempt at annihilation of the self and its representations. This gesture, however, displays the truly radical nature of Binet’s procedure, an antagonism that leads the artist to think of creation as an attempt to dig an escape route for the painter-self, beyond the painting itself.