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Jonathan Binet, installation view, 2015, Bonner Kunstverein, Courtesy of the artist and Gaudel de Stampa, Paris. Photo: Simon Vogel

Jonathan Binet

In his first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, the French artist Jonathan Binet (*1984 in St. Priest / F, lives and works in Paris) shows a series of new works that have been specially designed for the rooms of the Bonner Kunstverein.

Binet’s work focuses on painting. In the tradition of the “shaped canvas” (epitomized by Frank Stella’s work of the 1960’s), his canvases can take varying forms. Covered with one or more monochrome fabrics, they are sparingly painted: lines, circles or simple signs sprayed, drawn or brushed in a single gesture. Similar to a body’s skeleton and skin, the stretcher determines the shape of the canvas while the material applied to the stretcher dictates the qualities of its encasement. Of particular interest in Binet’s work is his perception of the painting as an “integrative object”. This process of integration — the inclusion into a larger whole — occurs during the work’s installation; Binet actively considers the walls and conditions of the surrounding exhibition space, initiating a working process based on its specifics. Everything taking place within the space shapes the exhibition. A canvas can bend and be embedded in a stair railing. A continuous line spray-painted over the surface of a wall and onto a canvas extends a painting into space. With this direct and equal treatment of both painting and place, the work becomes inseparable from its surroundings, existing only in this very moment and in its specific spatial arrangement.

Beyond this exploration of the work’s adaption to space, Binet’s new series of paintings conceived for the Bonner Kunstverein is based on similarly-shaped canvases, using the principle of repetition in order to create a visual game of echoing, disorientation and shifting reality. In doing so, he undertakes an investigation that one could relate to the linguistic reflections of Alain Robbe-Grillet (1922-2008) in his novel La reprise (Repetition, 2001). There, the author distinguishes the concept of repetition from the idea of reprisal (répetition and reprise): is an exact repetition at all possible?

Jonathan Binet has exhibited his work in Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (2015), Centre d’Art Neuchâtel (2014), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012), and at the CAPC in Bordeaux (2012).
The exhibition Jonathan Binet is supported by the Bureau des arts plastiques / Institut français and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.