Galerie Mezzanin

Jean-Marc Bustamante

Press release

Jean-Marc Bustamante

Opening: 14.09.2023, 18:00-21:00
Exhibition: 15.09.2023-03.11.2023


Ces oeuvres sont des impressions de peinture, des moments suspendus, qui s’effacent aussitôt exécutés,de mon ardoise mentale.
Chaque peinture révèle un sentiment du monde sous forme d’une concentration d’energie.

Jean-Marc Bustamante, 2023



We are pleased to announce the solo exhibition of Jean-Marc Bustamante at Galerie Mezzanin.

Initially a photographer and sculptor, Jean-Marc Bustamante gained recognition in the 1970s and 1980s for his large-scale photographs called Tableaux that resembled traditional paintings in composition and subject matter. He expanded into sculptures and installations, often combining objects and images. In the late 1990s, the artist transitioned to his own form of painting, initially using silkscreened colored shapes on Plexiglas. Since 2018, he fully embraced traditional painting with a focus on the hand of the artist and direct use of color on textured surfaces.

Bustamante’s recent paintings reflect his belief in creating “works without qualities”. The essence of his new Paintings resides in the intricately balanced and profoundly contradictory absence of defined quality within the blend of colors and shapes that constitute them. He employs a unique technique, coating panels with textured gesso and using ink and oil sticks instead of brushes. These unconventional materials create a tridimensional, relief-like surface that resists smooth, continuous application. The resulting images are both fragile and captivating, combining intricate doodles, vibrant color combinations, and irregular forms.
Bustamante’s paintings defy traditional categorization, blurring the line between abstraction and figuration. They lack explicit subjects, encouraging viewers to interpret their meanings. The artist’s intent is to capture the “frailty and magic of the world,” offering a different perspective on life’s movement and beauty. Bustamante’s paintings bridge past and future artistic traditions while inviting viewers to engage with their nuanced visual experiences.

Je suis pour un art direct, sensitif, tranchant, pour exprimer la fragilité du monde et celle de notre existence.
J’en exprime dans ces peintures, l’éphémère beauté pour tenter d’en fixer la grâce.

Jean-Marc Bustamante, 2023



Born in Toulouse in 1952, Jean-Marc Bustamante lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland. He taught sculpture at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 1990 to 1995 and at Kunstakademie in Munich from 2009 to 2015. From 2015 to 2019, he was the director of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He participated in Documenta 8, 9 and 10 (1987, 1992, 1997). In 2003, he represented France in the 50th Venice Biennale with his work Le Pavillon des Amazones. Since the 1970s, Bustamante’s work has been shown in noumerous solo exhibitions, i.e. at the Musée d’Art moderne de la ville de Paris, the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Museum for Contemporary Art, Brussels, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany, the Tate, London, Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, the Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, the Musée d’Art Moderne de Strasbourg, France, the Musée des Arts Contemporains du Grand Hornu, Belgium, the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK, and Villa Medici, Rome, among others. His work is part of important public collections, such as the Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid or the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Images Press release Biography