Bernard Golfier is a French painter living in Crouch End, London. His first solo exhibition, at Lauderdale House, Highgate, London, goes back to 2003. Since then he has been showing his paintings regularly in various places in North London.
'I use sheets of paper on which newspapers are printed to carry out a personal calligraphic work. It consists in a step-by-step superimposition of several layers of ‘signs/ideograms’. This process is pursued until the painting reaches a point when I feel it is finished.
I find the best way to describe my approach is ‘peinture de geste’. Indeed the painting is in no way planed in advance and kicks off with gesture. The progressive organisation of the surface is very much related to the rhythm of the brush. In a way, it agrees with the idea that time commands space. Because of the various media I am employing (inks, water-based and oil-based painting) the paper seems to acquire a life of its own. It bends, folds, gets crumpled, adopts unexpected distortions of its originally flat surface. Newspapers have a notoriously short lifespan. But when painted over these very common sheets of paper gain an unexpected, extended life.
The artwork I am showing in this exhibition is quite different from the paintings (mostly figurative) I have being doing for several years. This new approach does not invalidate my previous work. It represents a shift in my drive to paint and reflects the desire to open new avenues in my work.'
This exhibition explores the organisation of forms and colors on a surface constituted by prepared sheets of newspapers. It is part of an on-going work based on the gesture of the hand rather than on the intention to convey a meaning.
If ever a meaning comes out of these paintings only the spectator can interpret it. It is neither a representation of reality nor a language. The painting is its own reality and all it has to say.