For his project at the Palais de Tokyo, Bernard Aubertin decided to produce a series of “fire-paintings”.
The French artist Bernard Aubertin met Yves Klein in 1957. After this capital meeting he painted his his first red monochromes. In 1961, Bernard Aubertin joined ZERO, a German artists’ group made up of (Otto Piene, Heinz Mack and Günther Uecker). With them Aubertin shared a distrust of language: “Art isn’t expression, it’s knowledge. You don’t have something to say, you can only be” (Bernard Aubertin). For Aubertin, monochrome painting is the best way to free oneself from the painter’s gesture and, in doing so, give rise to a pure space and an anonymous vital energy. Ascribing a prophetic, liberating value to the color red and “levitating fire,” in which he sees a materialization of “extrasensory” culture, Aubertin has tirelessly developed his many series of paintings, the “monochromes,” “squares,” “reds,” “fires,” “golds” and so on.
The “fire-paintings” are fashioned from matches, which leave only traces of smoke and charred wood in the end. Aubertin sees them as so many manifestations of the power of art materials.