Launch & Exhibition — Anonymous

Art Paper Edi­tions (APE) invites you to the book launch and exhib­tion “Anonym­ous” by Jean-Bap­tiste Ber­na­det & Xavi­er Noiret-Thomé on April 26th, 2011 at Hunt­ing & Col­lect­ing in Brus­sels…

For about three years, Brus­sels-based French paint­ers Jean-Bap­tiste Ber­na­det and Xavi­er Noiret-Thomé have engaged in a sort of game which con­sists of buy­ing inter­est­ing paint­ings for less than 5€ at flea mar­kets. The artists sep­ar­ately pur­chase works accord­ing to their own find­ings and then share their dis­cov­er­ies with each oth­er. Once acquired, these paint­ings find their way into the homes of Jean-Bap­tiste and Xavi­er, where they are hung along­side works by estab­lished artists without any hier­archy.
If price is the only rule of this oth­er­wise very inform­al game, qual­ity determ­ines the pur­chase. In this price range, choice is obvi­ously very lim­ited but it’s pre­cisely because they often push back the lim­its of good taste that these »odd« works are inter­est­ing for both artists, whose pro­duc­tion they reex­am­ine. Some­times, those “cheap” images also mani­fest an intense sin­cer­ity and a neces­sity which com­pels artists to express them­selves.
Jean-Bap­tiste and Xavier’s game reminds us of the Thrift Store Paint­ings by Jim Shaw whom, from 1974 to 2000, col­lec­ted paint­ings from flea mar­kets. How­ever, it was in fact inspired by a game inven­ted by Dan­ish artists Asger Jorn, also co-founder of the Cobra move­ment, and Per Kirkeby, in the 1970s whose goal it was to trans­form bad paint­ings found in flea mar­kets into ‘suc­cess­ful’ ones.
Bey­ond the inex­haust­ible resource which flea mar­kets con­sti­tute for artists, they also rep­res­ent a pos­sible fate. Without any con­text, crit­ic­al sup­port, or con­trol by the artist and his or her gal­lery, any art­work could poten­tially wind up being picked up for less than 5€ on the Place du Jeu de Balle.”


Hunt­ing and Col­lect­ing
17, Rue des Chartreux
1000 Brus­sels – Bel­gi­um

April 27th to May 14th 2011

Book launch & Open­ing: Tues­day, April 26th at 6 pm