james pinson/Pascal Pinaud



"Regarder et voir venir".
Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris.

November 22, 2003 - January 6, 2004

Pascal Pinaud's exhibition 'Regarder et voir venir'  at Galerie Nathalia Obadia in Paris  finds us amongst  works which are by now familiar products from this artist's extensive repertoire.  Pinaud's favorite gambit is to present the viewer with objects that are, at least nominally, paintings.   These objects are transposed from the ordinary and the everyday; found pieces of crochet assembled on stretchers, panels sprayed with car paint, the aluminum roof of a truck.   Pinaud harnesses  these ready-mades and assisted ready-mades into  the service  of questioning  abstraction and painting within a context  of representation.  The humble and diverse origins of fabrication of these objects;  light industry, D.I.Y., an artisan's workshop are also important as alternatives to the detached and aloof artist's studio. 
However there is a feeling  here that  non-composition and other distancing strategies are by now almost rituals that artists, such as  Pinaud, evoke so that the spectator is in no doubt  that all is being conducted with tongue in cheek.  The decorative wall and ceiling plaster mouldings which Pinaud  festoons across the gallery walls and within and on which the 'tableaux'  are hung are a major example of this.    This gesture seems to signal the bourgeois context  of painting which abstraction historically struggled to distance itself from.  However this gesture is often made at the expense of  the full singular effect of many of the individual works.  This attempt at unifying such diverse works with  a single installation begs the question of whether these works actually need such energetic contextual embellishment? 
This seems especially so when the most successful  works in the exhibition are encountered.  Sheep Farm Yellow Nissan is a panel that was left over a period of time in  the paint spray work shop of a car body repair garage.  Over time it  picked up the over spraying from successive paint jobs.  The result is virtually a monochrome with a rich, deep, lacquered surface.   At the other end of the exhibition is a large canvas, Ecran N°2,  leant  against a wall on which is  printed an image of a painting by Mondrian hung within an exhibition. Close inspection reveals a mark  on the painting which extends onto the wall below it.  The image is in fact of a Mondrian that an exhibition visitor vomited on.   These two works, linked by their preoccupation with 'projection' as decisive processes,  throw up an intriguing nexus of readings and associations.  The sublimated surface of the sprayed car paint happening on the margin of the common place on the one hand.  On the other a utopian work from the canon of  purist abstraction, de-sublimated and de-based through the product of a visceral reaction, art folding into life but a long way from the bjectives of Neo-Plasticism. 

James Pinson