Bernard Aubertin

Bernard Aubertin (1934 Fontenay-aux-Roses, France – 2015 Reutlingen, Germany).

Around 1951 he began his apprenticeship at the School of Decorative Art. His encounter with Yves Klein in 1957 was fundamental and it led him to create his first four red monochrome plates the following year. His research is characterized by the exclusive use of red, a privileged colour and symbol of blood, life and earth and at the same time of the element of fire.

In 1961, he participated in the ZERO movement in Düsseldorf together with Mack, Piene, Uecker and in 1957/58 in the NUL movement in Amsterdam. He also came into contact with Piero Manzoni and Lucio Fontana.

Parallel to the monochromes in 1961, he made his first Tableaux feu (fire paintings) and in 1962 the first burnt books which he resumed with Livres Brûlés et à Brûler (burnt books and to be burnt).

Red and fire are the two elements that structure Aubertin’s artistic language. From  Tableaux Clous (nail paintings), which covered in gloss paint perfectly represent flames, Tableaux Fils de Fer (wire paintings) to  Dessin de Feu (fire drawings) or even Parcours d’allumettes (matches), up to performances with pianos set on fire and burned cars.

In the latter period of his painting, the artist replaced red with the colours of combustion in his monochrome paintings: black, brown, gray, red-orange and gold.