JONATHAN BINET at Berthold Pott / Cologne

10 March – 8 April 2017

Berthold Pott – An der Schanz 1a – 50735 Cologne 

Jonathan Binet’s works are
multifaceted and thus not easy to categorize right away. However, his works can
be attributed to the realm of painting, which does not necessarily seem obvious
at first glance. This has to do, on the one hand, with the fact that he rarely
uses the classical stretched canvas-rectangle, but rather works with ‘shapes’;
and, on the other hand, he generally does without colour (or uses exclusively
black) – or he does without the canvas altogether and sketches his forms and
images solely with the help of outlines welded from raw steel runners, which
results in silhouettes or forms, which ‘stand’ on the wall like line
In his first solo exhibition at Berthold
Pott Gallery, titled Distance, he
presents a series of recent works, which predominantly comprise silhouettes
welded from flat metal runners, complemented by canvas works partially
stretched over plywood.
Included in the exhibition is, for
example, a small-format work composed of metal bands that unite two overlapping
angles with an organic curve that, in turn, frame a white-beige shaped linen
canvas. Binet juxtaposes this delicate work with a powerful, 3.5-metre-long and
1.7-metre-high canvas surface, likewise outlined by a rectangular metal frame,
the jagged left side of which ‘turns toward’ the smaller work. Forms of closeness
and compactness are juxtaposed with and stand in contrast to forms of
incompleteness and rawness. Equally rich in contrast is Binet’s arrangement of
the works in the gallery space:
At the end of a long wall, for
example, Binet positions a circa 1.3-metre-high and extremely thin, sickle-like
metal outline. As though carved into the wall with a knife, the sharp, narrow,
and nearly black metal form seems to emerge out of the white ‘void’ of the
Binet always thinks beyond the
individual work. His works always reveal strong connections to each other. It
is either line connections, interrelated proportions and disproportions,
repetitions of forms, variations, or form complementarities, which connect the
works with each other. The choice of materials and the predominant renunciation
of colour, however, also serve to link the works visually.
Binet unites and strongly
interrelates his works not only with each other, but also with the exhibition
space. His works are thus always placed on, with, around, and against elements
of the architecture: windows, doors, gratings, radiators, columns, and other
elements are taken up and serve as interaction platforms for his works – the
exhibition space and its specific characteristics thus define the placing of
the works. Seemingly unpretentious situations, such as corners, staircases, and
exits, can become central locations when the artist reassess and reconditions
them through the placement of his works.
Also of great importance to Binet
is the constant development and modification of works throughout the entire
process. The unintended, the accidental, and the coincidental are ‘allowed’,
accepted as inspiration and modification, and accompany the works’ process of
formation even after they leave the studio.
It can thus be the case that a
work is unmounted during installation and remounted in a new form, for example
when the artist recognises new compositional focal points and connections while
breaking the form down, picking up on these and allowing them to flow directly
into the work. A dynamism that appears to know no bounds. A work that is always
open for everything that takes place around it.
Jonathan Binet
Born in 1984, lives in Paris. Studied at ENSBA Paris
and Beaux-Arts Saint-Etienne.
Main solo exhibitions:
Balice Hertling, Paris (2016), Carl Kostyal, London (2015),
Bonner Kunstverein
(2015), Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen (2015), Centre D´Art
Neuchatel (2014), Gaudel de
Stampa, Paris (2014), Art Basel Statements, Basel
(2013), Liste Basel (2014 +
2015), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012), CAPC, Bordeaux
Main group exhibitions:
Berthold Pott, Cologne (2016), Occidential Temporary,
Paris (2015), Carlier /
Gebauer, Berlin (2014), Foundation D´Enterprise
Richard, Paris (2014), Standard
Oslo, Oslo, Norway (2014)