Artist of the week: Bertrand Lavier

Since the early 1970s, Bertrand Lavier (Châtillon-sur-Seine, France, 1949) has been exploring the relationship between art and life, everyday objects and consumerism, established artistic vocabulary and subversion of viewers’ expectations.



Arguably his most recognisable works were created by covering mundane industrial objects like a refrigerator, a table, a piano, (piano photos) a radio, or a fire extinguisher with an impasto layer of paint. The adaption of the everyday object led to many critics describing Lavier’s oeuvre as a continuation and expansion of the Duchampian principles and the Nouveaux Réalisme movement. In addition to having a clear throughline to the concept of ‘readymade’, these works display the artist’s fascination with exploring the convergence of art and the material reality of things. The works seem to be asking how far the object can act as the artwork in itself, be the subject matter of that artwork, and remain a representation of itself.

The use of the veneer of paint as a destabiliser of categories and genres continues in works that further confuse technique and support. For instance, the 2019 Peinture Blanch et Argent represents a stunningly ‘blank’ canvas painted over with white acrylic paint elevated by a gold frame (photos Peinture Blanch et Argent), while Oxyde green made in the same year, displays a plexiglass photograph completely covered by the broad brushstrokes of green acrylic paint, displaying the same ‘Van Gogh touch’ as on Lavier’s everyday ‘object-paintings’. (photos Oxyde green)

‘There’s a widespread idea that Art is Life. Not to my mind. I feel that Art is something just next to Life: Art proves that Life is not enough. That’s why I use objects as servers.’ (Bertrand Lavier)

Bertrand Lavier lives and works in Paris. In 2012 he had a major retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. His recent solo exhibitions include Fosun Foundation, Shanghai (2022); Unwittingly but Wittingly, Le Consortium, Dijon (2021); Bertrand Lavier, Galería Albarrán Bourdais, Madrid (2019); Bertrand Lavier, kamel mennour, Paris (2019); Medley, Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo, Tokyo (2018); Walt Disney Productions, Kunstmuseum Luzern (2017);

Here at Theodore & C. admire Bertrand Lavier's work on display showcases not only for his incredible talent but also his unique perspective on the world. If you have any questions or are interested in purchasing one of his rare paintings, we encourage you to reach out to our art curators. They would be more than happy to provide additional information and assist with the acquisition process. Don't miss the opportunity to own a piece of art that is sure to be a valuable addition to your collection.

Annual Art Magazine: ‘Bertrand Lavier’, Interview by Timothee Chaillou, 2012