Jean-Baptiste Bernadet

France 1978

Jean-Baptiste Bernadet
Jean-Baptiste Bernadet
June 24, 2014
Jean is researcher and author for Widewalls.

Fluent in a number of styles, minimalist, monochromatic, gestural, impressionistic, and quite potent in working on scales both small and large, JeanBaptiste Bernadet is a French contemporary painter whose works hovers between what is abstract and what is recognizable. Accepting the fact that there is no certainty in life, he hopes (and manages) to reflect that uncertainty through his paintings. Without limiting himself to just one approach with a linear structure, he has developed a visual language where everything is somehow interconnected. If there is a constant in Bernadet’s work, it’s that there is no constant. He is dependably restless and mercurial, always exploring painting’s many dialects.[1]

Jean-Baptiste Bernadet untitled oil rech almine works made at home will be shown in paris and london, with a close look on new untitled paintings from 2014
Jean-Baptiste Bernadet – Scenic Drive, 2013 – installation view at Marfa Book Company, Marfa, Texas

Jean-Baptiste Bernadet – Style

Painting begins with an impression. It varies from a simple observation in the streets, a phrase in the speech, a detail – pretty much anything that triggers that very first brushstroke on canvas. Through the process of covering and erasing, superimposition and simulation, the piece slowly arises. As for many artists of his generation, Bernadet considers an artwork to be the sum of time and energy devoted to it. Having gotten rid of some of the distractions that usually appear at the beginning of every young artist’s career (as he called it “the mystique of action painting, the pathos”), every one of his paintings records the history of its production, visible through the thickness of the successive layers of paint.[2] This layering path that Bernadet walks upon was first opened in the 1950’s by the Americans Frank Stella, Ad Reinhardt, and Kenneth Noland. Also, Claude Monet inevitably comes to mind when Bernadet’s paintings (the Fugue paintings) get closely inspected, not simply because of the appearance, but rather the inherent ability of the works to envelop the viewers into their own visual universe.

Thick layers of paint tell the stories, allowing the viewers to know the paintings’s origins

Jean-Baptiste Bernadet feels that his home is paris but he lives in brussels. He was followed close by the press in 2016 about his canvas oil rech almine work, presented in untitled gallery in london. Baptiste created new untitled works in 2016, and he will show them as new untitled pieces at the gallery in brussels.
Jean-Baptiste Bernadet – Untitled (Fugue – Screen I), 2013

Installation View

The artist was born in Paris but has lived in Brussels since 2000. He studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, graduating in 2001, at the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, obtaining a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2002, and at the ENSAV La Cambre, Brussels, where he completed his Master of Fine Arts in 2003. While each of his paintings can provide a good introduction to his process and the understanding of art, only at exhibitions could his talent be fully grasped. He had numerous successful solo shows, and from 2001 he’s also participated in many group exhibitions. Fugue paintings, observed from a distance, appear airy and atmospheric, a hazy veil of color suspended somewhere just before the picture plane. Only at first. Approaching the painting, the resplendent mist appears to part only to abruptly harden as each brushstroke comes into view and suddenly snaps into place, each delineating a block of pure color.[3] It is a challenge to look at a Fugue painting for too long, as their subversive formalism is destabilizing the conventional visual cues. Without draining his works of the pleasurable aspect of looking, Bernadet paints the pieces whose aesthetic beauty conceals a more sinister subversion of the very means by which that experience is delivered to us – our visual senses.

Jean-Baptiste Bernadet lives and works in Brussels.


  1. Dailey M. The ever-evolving Belgian artist thrives on uncertainty. W magazine [September 9,2016]
  2. Deyries-Henry D. Introducing Jean-Baptiste Bernadet, Art Press [No. 433, May 2016]
  3. Bacon A. Fugue, The Brooklyn Rail [No. 433, May 2016]

Featured image: Jean-Baptiste Bernadet in his studio – photo credits Amanda Hakan, via
All other images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2014FUGUENada NY, Rod Barton London, New York (USA)Solo
2014FUGUERod Barton, London (GB)Solo
2014THREESOME, with Samuel FrançoisBerthold Pott, Cologne (DE)Group
2014MEN WITH BROKEN HEARTSDe La Charge, Brussels (BE)Group
2014ENCHANTED: THE POETICS OF WONDERSFurini Arte Contemporanea, Arezzo (IT)Group
2014YEAH AND LOOK WHERE IT GOT USMonChéri, Brussels (BE)Group
2014<< >>Super Dakota, Brussels (BE)Group
2014OUTRESOL, Curated by Joel Riff and Mathieu BuardJohan Fleury de Witte, Paris (FR)Group
2014FUGUEAmerican Contemporary, New York NYSolo
2014Solo Show (upcoming Sept)Retrospective Gallery, Hudson, NYSolo
2013ON KNOWING & NOTKarma, New York NY (USA)Solo
2013MISE EN ABYMECasado Santapau Gallery, Madrid (ES)Solo
2013SCENIC DRIVEMarfa Book Company Gallery, Marfa, Texas (USA)Solo
2013WICHITI, with Koen Delaere,Gerhard Hofland, Amsterdam (NL)Group
2013OH MY GOSH IT'S AMAZINGValentin, Paris (FR)Group
20132014 Artists to WatchM Building, Miami, Florida (USA)Group
2013VOIDSuper Dakota, Brussels (BE)Group
2013J. DEGOTTEX, JB BERNADET, T. SMALLEY, K.J. VARADIRicou Gallery, Brussels (BE)Group
2013THE OCEAN BEFORE MEEspace Le Commun, Geneva (CH)Group
2013YOUNG BELGIAN ART PRIZEPalais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, Brussels (BE)Group
2013JB BERNADET, Israel LUND, Landon METZ, Olivier MOSSETTORRI, Paris (FR)Group
2013JB BERNADET, Israel LUND, Kyle THURMAN, Josh SMITHTORRI, Paris (FR)Group
2013JAM SESSIONGalerie Saks, Geneva (CH)Group
2013LET'S TALK (AGAIN) ABOUT PAINTINGCurated by C. Dirié and E. Nielsen, Guyancourt (FR)Group
2012FIVE W and ONE HTORRI Booth at ArtRotterdam, Rotterdam (NL)Solo
2012DIRTY WINDOWS, with Patrick BrennanToomer Labzda, New York, NY (USA)Group
2012BERNADET - PLATÉUS8 rue Saint-Bon, Paris (F)Group
2012DRAWING QUOTE!Pigna Project Space, Roma (IT)Group
2012MATTERDADDYAngstrom Gallery, Dallas, Texas (USA)Group
2012CHRONIQUE CURIOSITÉVilla Noailles, Hyères (FR)Group
2012THE FINAL FRONTIERThe Atlantic Conference, Brooklyn, NY (USA)Group
201213 PEINTRES ET MOIRoyal Skating - Valérie Bach, Brussels (BE)Group
2012TEXTURE/MATERIALKlemm's Gallery, Berlin (DE)Group
2012NOTHINGÉcole Nationale Supérieure d'Art de Nancy (F)Group
2012SEE YOU THEREMiddlemarch, Brussels (BE)Group
2011RESERVOIRGalerie Saks, Geneva (CH)Solo
2011JEAN-BAPTISTE BERNADETProject Space Renwick Gallery, New York NY (USA)Solo
2011FORTUNETORRI, Paris (F)Solo
2011BERNADET - PLATÉUSMiddlemarch, Brussels (B)Group
2011BERNADET - PLATÉUSKarma, New York, NY (USA)Group
2011ANONYMOUS, with Xavier Noiret-Thomé, curated by Devrim BayarHunting & Collecting, Brussels (B)Group
2011KARMAWhite Flags Projects, Saint-Louis, Missouri (USA)Group
2011CHRISTMAS JEWELS8 rue Saint-Bon, Paris (F)Group
2011DARK VISIONGalerie SAKS, Geneva (CH)Group
2011VIGOUREUSE AFFECTIONAdrien Vescovi studio, Ivry-sur-Seine (F)Group
2011ANOTHER IDEA OF LANDSCAPE,Curated by Samuel François, ENSA Nancy (F)Group
2010ANOTHER ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONChinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas (USA)Solo
2010NEVER FORGIVE, NEVER FORGETProject-Room Baronian_Francey, Brussels (B) Solo
2010WHAT HAPPENS HERE, STAYS HEREMaes & Matthys Gallery, Antwerp (B)Solo
2010THE OLD SOW SENT THEM OUT TO (...)Wiels Project Room, Brussels (B)Group
2010THE SMALL SHOWMaes & Matthys, Antwerp (BE)Group
2009LET'S TALK ABOUT PAINTING I, with Eva Nielsen, curated by Clément DiriéLe Stand, Lyon (F) Group
2009169A2Curated by Eric Stéphany & Xavier Mazarol, private apartment, Paris (F)Group
2009SHORT TRACKSWiels Contemporary Art Center, Brussels (B)Group
2009LET'S TALK ABOUT PAINTING II,Curated by Clément Dirié, Le Stand, Lyon (F)Group
2009THERE IS NO(W) ROMANTICISMGalerie les Filles du Calvaire, Brussels (B)Group
2009OVERLAPCurated by Agnès Violeau, Galerie Crèvecoeur, Paris (F)Group
2009PORTRAITS DE FAMILLECurated by Adrien Vescovi, Utile Ignorance, Strasbourg (F)Group
2009THIS IS NO ORDINARY LOVEGalerie Frédéric Desimpel, Brussels (B)Group
2008A TOTAL ECLIPSE OF MY HEART,Galerie Xprssns, Hamburg (D)Solo
2008WINTER FOR A YEARProject-Room Galerie les Filles du Calvaire, Brussels (B)Solo
2008SPRING BREAK, with Martin Laborde, Speedy Wash WIELS Offsite, Brussels (B)Group
2008DON'T ASK ME TO DANCEHotel Noailles, Brussels (B)Group
2008ZERO GRAVITYEcole Supérieure d'Art de Metz (publication) (F)Group
2007THIS IS NOT AMERICAKonsortium, Dusseldorf (D)Solo
2007HAPPY ENDChapelle des Calvairiennes, Mayenne (F)Solo
2007PINK SCREENSCinéma Nova, Brussels (B)Group
2007ALONE IN THE DARKGalerie Bortier, Brussels (B)Group
2006GRAVITY ALWAYS WINS, with Simon JaffrotGalerie Bortier - Ville de Bruxelles, Brussels (B)Group
2006MAÏS 2006Festival de la ville de Bruxelles (B) Group
2006CODE/STRATEParking La Monnaie, Brussels (B)Group
2005BAETE, BERNADET, BRUÈRE, NOIRET-THOMÉMusée des Beaux-Arts de Tourcoing (F)Group
2004Des dessins et des autres - part IIGalerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels (B)Group