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WHITFORD F I N E A R T 6 DUKE STREET ST. JAMES’S LONDON SW1Y 6BN TEL.+44(0)20 7930 9332 FA X . + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 7 9 3 0 5 5 7 7 info@whitfordfineart.com w w w. w h i t f o r d f i n e a r t . c o m

GEORGES BERNÈDE


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GEORGES BERNÈDE

12th September – 14th October 2011

All works are for sale

WHITFORD F I N E A R T

6 DUKE STREET ST. JAMES’S LONDON SW1Y 6BN TEL. +44 (0)20 7930 9332 EMAIL info@whitfordfineart.com www.whitfordfineart.com


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Composition 86 1986 Oil on canvas, 49.5 x 61 cm Signed and dated lower centre, signed and dated verso


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Composition 92 1992 Oil on canvas, 116 x 89 cm Signed and dated lower right, signed and dated verso


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GEORGES BERNÈDE Material Gestures

Born in 1926, Geor ges Bernède started painting in 1942. Whils t the German oc cupation of Paris had forced many artis ts to flee the F rench capital, Bernède’s hometown of Monségur, near Bordeaux, was situated in the so-called Zone Libre, where life continued relatively uninterrupted. Under the influence of the established painter Mildred Bendall (1891-1977), who had sought refuge in Monségur, Bernède began as a figurative expressionist. Drawing on Bendall’s training with Henri Matisse, Bernède used s trong colour as building bl ocks, abandoning black tr acing for shadows. These canvases were exhibited at the yearly exhibitions of the ‘Artistes Indépendants de Bordeaux’, the Group ‘Sève’ and the Group ‘Le Regard’ during the 1940s and 1950s. The post-war years heralded exciting and inno vative styles of Abs traction on both sides of the Atlantic. New York’s Abstract Expressionism and Action P ainting echoed in its Eur opean counterpart known as ‘ Art Informel’, with its sub-v ariants of L yrical Abstraction and Tachism. Generally these s tyles involved paint spont aneously dribbled, splashed or smear ed onto the canvas, rather than being carefully applied. The resulting work usually emphasised the physical act or ‘geste’ of painting itself as an essential aspect of the finished work. Bernède first turned to Lyrical Abstraction during the early 1960s. Yet, in his continuous search to express the essence of life, to establish an analogy to musical rhythm and to touch the viewer deep into the subconscious mind, Bernède gradually grew to gestural painting, partnered with a black and white palette. Whilst being deceptively subtle, these paintings hav e a dynamic, spont aneous and dramatic impact through the energetic application of the paint. Bernède’s paintings are easily accessible for they evoke the c ollective sense of an ar chetypal visual language, and aid a civilisation’s understanding of the world through heightened self-consciousness and awareness, a concept adopted by the Action painters from Freud and Jung. Although his work bears obvious similarities to that of Franz Kline, Bernède was never an imitator, for with Matisse as a starting point, his style evolved instinctively through disciplined research and progress, as his artistic development over the years testifies. Bernède continues to reside and paint in Monségur, France. An Jo Fermon, September 2011

Front cover: Composition 91-8 1991 (oil on canvas, 91.5 x 61 cm) Back cover: Composition 92 C 1992 (oil on canvas, 116 x 80 cm)


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Composition 86-78 1986 Oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm Signed and dated lower right, signed and dated verso


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Composition 86-20 1986 Oil on canvas, 81 x 100.5 cm Signed and dated lower right, signed and dated verso


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Composition 64-1 1964 Oil on canvas, 66 x 51 cm Signed and dated lower right, signed and dated verso


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Composition 92 B 1992 Oil on canvas, 65 x 50 cm Signed and dated verso


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Composition 84 1984 Oil on canvas, 130 x 96.5 cm Signed and dated lower right, signed and dated verso


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Composition 87 1987 Oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm Signed and dated lower right, signed and dated verso


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Composition 84-24 1984 Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm Signed and dated lower right, signed and dated verso


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Composition 92 A 1992 Oil on canvas, 116 x 81 cm

Text and images: Š Whitford Fine Art

Signed and dated lower right, signed and dated verso

Produced by Artmedia Press Ltd • London


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WHITFORD F I N E A R T 6 DUKE STREET ST. JAMES’S LONDON SW1Y 6BN TEL.+44(0)20 7930 9332 FA X . + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 7 9 3 0 5 5 7 7 info@whitfordfineart.com w w w. w h i t f o r d f i n e a r t . c o m

GEORGES BERNÈDE

Georges Bernède: Material Gestures  

Bernède first turned to Lyrical Abstraction during the early 1960's. Yet, in his continuous serach to express the esence of life, to establi...