Lisson Gallery

Bernard Piffaretti: Twin Peaks and Company

13 March – 29 May 2021

Bernard Piffaretti: Twin Peaks and Company

Lisson Gallery is delighted to open its first exhibition of work by the French artist, Bernard Piffaretti, in Shanghai. The exhibition features a selection of colourful, dynamic new works, all created by the artist in his Paris studio over the past year. The presentation highlights the role of cinema, in particular the visionary filmmakers David Lynch and Orson Welles, in the creation of Piffaretti’s ‘moving image’ style of painting, and the connections between their bodies of work.

Named one of the greatest painters of his generation, Piffaretti has refined his “Piffaretti system” for many decades. These new acrylic on canvas paintings on show in Shanghai, all Untitled (2020) like the majority of Piffaretti’s oeuvre, illustrate this method. Each painting begins with the artist establishing a clear separation between left and right, by painting ‘the central mark’ – the vertical line that divides the canvas into two equal sides. The artist then creates an abstract composition of gestural marks on one side, and follows to re-create the image opposite, on the other side of the vertical line. However, while Piffaretti is interested in the process of mirroring, he is not concerned with producing an ideal, symmetrical image. Instead, he purposely paints an inexact, doubled image that instantly challenges our perception and forces us to question what we are seeing. Because we do not know which side the artist painted first (left or right), we cannot identify which side is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, and instead each becomes an equally imperfect double. Our minds actively try to decode the puzzle of Piffaretti’s chosen variations, highlighting our inherent psychological and emotional response to this technique.  

The title of the show, Twin Peaks and Company, was selected by Piffaretti as a tribute to two filmmakers: David Lynch and Orson Welles as, he says, “a kind of twin legacy”. Twin Peaks, directed by David Lynch, was the famed American horror drama which originally aired in 1990 before returning as a limited series in 2017. Piffaretti, like Lynch, came to prominence in the 1980s, alongside the development of the “high concept” era in cinematic style and the continuation of the filmmaker-driven format. The latter part of the title, and Company, refers to Lynch's forerunner, Orson Welles, who greatly influenced Lynch in his formal approach to directing and its psychological effects. In particular, Piffaretti notes the film, ‘The Lady from Shanghai’ (1947) which Lynch has discussed as a major influence on his work. The finale of this film features a unique climactic shoot-out in the Magic Mirror Maze, a hall of mirrors comprising a multitude of real and false images, where each face is repeated and mirrored numerous times.

Piffaretti’s own exploration of visual language is mirrored in the work of Lynch and Welles, and indeed Piffaretti has noted “I practice painting like one would a ‘moving picture’, I see it as a ‘moving situation’”, as is often seen in the artist’s work. The artists all adopt distortion in their work, mystery, reflections, and a deconstruction of images to push the boundaries of their medium and illustrate the psychological effects of their methods. Piffaretti’s work is also influenced by the stylistic negation of filmmakers such as Lynch and Welles, who refuse to be categorized by one artistic vocabulary, as well as the performance of the process. The ‘peak’ is a recurrent motif in Piffaretti’s paintings – one of these, depicting a pair of peaks against a black backdrop, is included in the exhibition. The artist adds: “I noticed in Shanghai there is a shipping line named ‘The Twin Peaks Express’. This construction, at different levels, is always in action in my work: the questions involved in the figure of the double, of the twin.”

里森画廊 (Lisson Gallery) 荣幸宣布即将推出法国著名艺术家伯纳德·皮法雷蒂 (Bernard Piffaretti) 于上海首次个展。展览将呈现艺术家与过去一年在其巴黎工作室完成的新作,在皮法雷蒂 “运动图像” 风格绘画创作中,叙述电影大师大卫·林奇和奥逊·威尔斯的影响,以及他们作品之间的联系。

皮法雷蒂被誉为同时代最伟大的画家之一,在过去几十年的绘画生涯中潜心研究其“皮法雷蒂系统”创作方式。此次上海展出的这组丙烯画作均诠释了这一创作方式,每次开始创作时,艺术家先在画布上建立一道“中心线”,将画布垂直平分成左右两半,在画布的一边布建抽象的构图,接着在另一边重现对应图像。而皮法雷蒂对镜像的兴趣不代表他力求理想的对称画面。相反,他有意呈现出一种不精准的重象,顷刻间挑战了观者的传统感知,迫使质疑其视觉习惯。由于观者不知晓画布两边的先后顺序,无法就此判断“对错”,两边的图像便成为了各自不完美的影子。观者欲解开皮法雷蒂画面中的谜题,积极寻找左右两边的变化,由此强调了观者对该系统固有的心理和情绪回应。

展览标题 「双峰与伴」为皮法雷蒂致敬被他称之为“双子传奇”的电影人大卫·林奇 (David Lynch) 和奥逊·威尔斯 (Orson Welles)。《双峰》是大卫·林奇执导的著名美国恐怖片,首映于1990年,后在2017年以短剧的形式回归。皮法雷蒂和林奇一样,在八十年代声名鹊起,见证了电影风格中“高概念”时代的发展和电影人主导模式的延续。展览标题的后半部分意指林奇的前辈奥逊·威尔斯。林奇深受威尔斯的执导方式及其心理效果的影响。皮法雷蒂特别提及了威尔斯于1947年执导的《上海小姐》,一部被林奇认为对其创作产生极大影响的电影。这部电影的结局以魔镜迷宫里的一场枪战达到高潮。布满了镜子的通道充满着真实和虚假的图像,每张面孔都得以多次重复与反射。

皮法雷蒂对自己视觉语言的探索映照于林奇和威尔斯的作品中,艺术家说:“我的绘画过程像一个电影工作者处理‘运动图像’一样,我视创作为一种‘动态情景’”,这种动态时常可见于艺术家的作品中。他们均在其创作中采取了变形、神秘、反射、解构图像来推动媒介的边界,并诠释其方法的心理效果。皮法雷蒂的作品亦受到林奇和威尔斯等电影人风格式否定的影响,他们拒绝被归类为一个艺术词汇,以及过程的表现。 “峰”是皮法雷蒂作品中反复出现的主题,其中黑色背景的一幅双峰作品将在这次展览中呈现。艺术家补充道:“上海有个航运线路名是‘双峰快线’。该结构多层面地活跃于我的创作中:重影与双生。”

2/F, 27 Huqiu Road
Shanghai

Opening Times:
Tuesday - Saturday: 11:00am - 6:00pm

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