Following a visit to the Paris studio of Yves Klein in 1957, Bernard Aubertin was inspired to follow in Klein’s footsteps and work within the field of monochromy, a style that he adamantly adhered to throughout his career. Choosing a vibrant red hue, he covered all over nail paintings with these characteristically bright red surfaces, creating monochrome yet intriguing compositions. As outlined in Aubertin’s writings, he sought to bring out the absolute “destiny” of the colour, and in turn, what he calls the “pictorial essence” and a psychic/sensuous value, through monochromy. Within the colour red there exists a compelling dichotomy. On the one hand it evokes violence as the colour of blood and fire and on the other it embodies an infinite and anonymous purity. In addition, the colour red is also rich in psycho-analytical interpretations and connotations and has peculiar optical effects on the viewer.

 

By 1962, Aubertin was recognized as a member of the, originally German, international Zero movement, exhibiting with them and regularly corresponding with artists such as Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and Piero Manzoni. He shared a similar rejection of art as language and instead strived to create works that embody simplicity and austerity. His use of both red and fire represented his own interpretation of Zero’s ‘tabula rasa’, rather than an aesthetic experience. Aubertin’s red works give rise to pure vibration and anonymous energy in a way that is emblematic of the movement.

 

By the 1960’s, Aubertin had introduced fire into his repertoire, a medium that effectively becomes the physical manifestation of his chosen colour. Many of the works consist of abstract compositions using matches that were later burned, creating variations caused by the spontaneous nature of flame. The process by which the works are created is inherent in the final product and the viewer can clearly see the charred transformation that took place. In effect, the destructive nature of fire becomes a mode of creation and rebirth. Through his performances of burning paintings, books and objects, Aubertin became considered a conceptual artist.

 

Since the 1960s, his work has been widely exhibited throughout Europe and the United States.

 

Public collections include

Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris, Paris

Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble

Centre National de l'Art Contemporain, Paris

Musée de Graz, Graz

Museum of Düsseldortf, Düsseldorft

Archivio della Grazia di Nuova Scrittura, Milan

Museo de Arte Moderno, Venezuela

 

Solo Exhibitions

1990, Galerie Gilbert Brownstone & Cie, Paris; Galleria Vinciana, Milan; Galerie Jousse Saguin, Paris

1989, Galeria Oscar Ascanio, Caracas; Galerie Schoeller, Düsseldorf

1988, Galerie Gilbert Brownstone & Cie, Paris; Stiftung fur Konkrete Lunst, Archiv, Reutlingen

1987, Galerie Béatrix Wilhelm, Stuttgart

1986, Galerie Charley Chevalier, Paris

1983, Galerie Donguy, Paris; Galerie Toni  Brechbühl, Grenchen

1979, Galerie Weiller, Paris

1978, Palazzetto dello Sport, Abano Terme; Galerie 44, Kaarst by Dusseldorf

1977, Galleria Rebus, Florence

1975, Studio Brescia, Brescia; Galleria Il Punto, Turin

1974, Galerie 2, Stuttgart, Studio Brescia, Brescia, Italy; Galleria Banco, Brescia, Italy; Studio Firenze Art Contemporanea, Florence; Galleria dei Mille, Bergamo, Italy; Galleria Delta, Salerno, Italy, Studio F22, Palazzolo, Italy; Galleria Il Canale, Venice

1973, Galerie Toni Brechbühl, Grenchen, Switzerland; Musée de l'Abbaye Sainte-Croix, Sables-d'Olonne, France; Galerie Seebacher, Austria

1972, Retrospective Exhibition, C.N.A.C., Paris

1971, Galerie Ursula Lichter, Frankfurt

1969, Galerie Senatore, Stuttgart

1968, Galerie des Quatre Vents, Paris; Galerie Riquelme, Paris; Leine Galerie e V., Frankfurt

1967, Falerie Weiller, Paris; Galerie M.E. Thelen, Essen

1962, Galerie Wulfengasse, Austria

 

Group Exhibitions

1973, Sammlung Cremer, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tübingen

1972, Otto Plene Lichtballet und Kunstler der Gruppe Zero, Galerie Heseler, Munich

1971, Sammlung Cremer, Kunst der 60er Jahre, Kunstverein, Heidelberg

1969, Dynamozero 1959 - 1969, Galerie Ursula Lichter, Frankfurt

1968, Cinétisme, Maison de la Culture, Grenoble, France

1967, Luminism, George Washington Hotel, New York

1966, Destruction in Art symposium, London; Climat 66, Musée de Grenoble, France

1965, Zero - Avant - Garde, Atelier de Fontana, Milan

1962, Zero, Galerie Schindler, Berne

1961, Zero, Galerie Dato, Frankfurt