Galerie Zavodny

Bernard Aubertin-EN


Bernard Aubertin

29. June 1934 – 31. August 2015


Bernard Aubertin was one of the most inspiring personalities of the 20th century in the field of European monochrome painting, conceptual art and happenings. The early works, created during his studies in Paris, date from 1955 – 57. Influenced by cubistic and futuristic paintings of the pre-war avant-garde, he creates portrait sketches and landscape studies.

A major breakthrough represents his visit to the studio of Y. Klein in Paris 1957. Bernard Aubertin is fascinated by Kleins’ bright blue monochrome reliefs. For Klein, blue is a personification of positive energy and spirituality. After many researches and studies, Klein patents his blue under the name IKB / International Klein Bleu, 1957 /.

Bernard Aubertin devote his work to the dense red. He sees it as a dualistic colour that on one hand arouses feelings associated with tension, violence and cruelty / blood, fire / nevertheless the red also represents for him the colour of absolute purity, a “tabula rasa” for all the author's vision. Since 1960 Bernard Aubertin creates relief structures using nails to bring the element of motion, dynamics, chaos or geometrical order to his red monochrome works. In 1961, Bernard Aubertin joins the international ZERO movement / 1957 Düsseldorf, Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Günter Uecker ... /, participates in group exhibitions and, according to the group program, starts to use various materials in his works / mainly wood, metal, matches, water, nails and metal wires, powder, ashes ... /.

In parallel with the nail reliefs, Bernard Aubertin creates works and objects using the effects of fire. Compositions of precisely positioned matches are in the final process of work creation ignited. Charred remnants of matches and traces of smoke acquire a metaphysical character, referring to the initial fixed contours of the figures, documenting their destruction on the timeline. Items exposed to the flames are loosing their original shape and aesthetics. Thorough their new identity is losing nothing on its appeal and artistic quality, adding the testimony of things that have undergone a rebirth.

Since the 80’s, Bernard Aubertin uses black, gold and blue, especially in haptic and gestural paintings. Bernard Aubertin works can be found in renowned collections and government institutions worldwide.