The French artist will present a new body of silk-screened Plexiglas in a square format. In this new project, entitled ‘Colorito-Colorado’, the artist refers to the Renaissance concept describing the precedence accorded by Venetian artists on the use of colour versus drawing as a technique of painting.

Unlike ”Il Disegno” considered by Florentine artists as being the key for coloured painting to portray Nature, the Venetians preferred the direct use of layered coloured brushstrokes to define form, anticipating somehow the Impressionist painters!

In this series, Bustamante is emphasizing his pursue in the apprehension of colour painting. This explosion of colour on the Plexiglas has found its source through a drawing on graph paper of large strokes or patches of colours with a felt pen. The drawing gets transformed and simplified via computer editing. In that process, the touch of the brush strokes, the overlays of colour, the movement of the artist’s hand inscribing the temporality of the making are removed. We are far from references to any traditional techniques but we feel confronted to some new version of painting similar to the coloured images we perceive through our computer or Ipad screen. As the artist explains, “we gain ‘spirit’, a lightness, a simplicity” and probably a speed and fluidity in perception.

The resulting image is metamorphosed onto a large-scale silk-screened image on Plexiglas. This use of industrial process is persistent along Bustamante past three decades work initiated with photography then sculpture or in his first works on Plexiglas ‘Lumières’ in the 90’s.

This industrial aesthetic, dear to the artist, inherited from painters like Franz Kline, Frank Stella or Andy Warhol has changed meaning today whereas domestic technological devices surround our daily life as the inkjet paintings by Albert Oehlen or the Iphone drawings by David Hockney.

Within his move to approach painting, the artist no longer leaves the painted Plexiglas free-floating on the wall supported by four metal brackets. The painting is finely mounted with a steel frame giving to the painting the aspect of a window of colour and transparency. The white wall gives light to the painting and at the same time closes it from the possibility of any vision to depth or infinity...

Also it is interesting to notice that this glass box functions somehow as a large format camera, referring back to the artist earlier works. Even though the photographic lens is the vital connection through all works of Bustamante, this ‘Colorito-Colorado’ series aims at a new kind of painting and a new mode of looking at painting.


Bustamante lives and works in Paris. He participated to 3 Documenta 8,9 and 10. He represented France at the Venice Biennale in 2003. His next upcoming solo museum exhibition will take place in January 2012 at the Villa Medicis, Rome. Bustamante is Professor at the Akademie des Bildenden Kunste, Munich (since 2010).