"FREE SPIRIT" JonOne
AN EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO JONONE AT THE INSTITUT CULTUREL BERNARD MAGREZ
FROM SEPTEMBER 25, 2021 TO FEBRUARY 27, 2022
After a first monographic exhibition at the Bernard Magrez Cultural Institute in 2015, the "King of Harlem" is back in Bordeaux for a new major exhibition at Château Labottière, entitled FREE SPIRIT. A New Yorker of Dominican origin, John Perello aka JonOne is an emblematic figure of graffiti. In constant evolution, this artist, who went from the street to the canvas, from New York to Paris, from the spray can to the brush, from acrylic to oil, is considered today as an abstract expressionist painter, even if he remains unclassifiable, untamable. Freedom above all...this is what drives him from his beginnings in the street where, with the spray can in his hand, he tags his name all over the city. This freedom, this spontaneity of gesture in his artistic expression, will never leave him. His painter's soul, will distinguish him very quickly from the other contemporaries of the graffiti, because he will not let himself be locked in its codes and will begin his way towards the abstraction, leaving free course to his freestyle on the vast urban spaces. His painting leads him to the conquest of the canvas, seeking his relationship to the surface, like American artists such as Pollock, de Kooning, Sam Francis or Motherwell. The writing of his name, the starting point of many creations, repeated ad infinitum, is found in particular in the series of paintings "punishments", but also in his most recent oil paintings. His name becomes almost illegible until it sometimes disappears to the point of becoming an abstract motif, leaving room for a new experimentation of color and matter. Splash, drips, drippings, between accident and mastery of the gesture... vibration of bright colors imprinted with Caribbean culture, abstract forms... His painting is sensual, intuitive and always arouses strong emotions, made of joy, rage, sometimes softness, in search of a certain balance, a certain wisdom but where we always find this same energy.
Powerful body expression, the compositions of his paintings evoke a musical rhythm such as a Free-Jazz improvisation. The FREE SPIRIT exhibition will present a retrospective of emblematic works from the 90s to today. Paintings, drawings, videos and sculptures from private collections, notably from Bernard Magrez and Willem Speerstra, retrace the artist's abundant and eclectic career. Hosted in residence at the Institute, JonOne invests the premises and creates for the occasion, new works and installations, a true dialogue between his art and the sublime exhibition spaces of the Château.
texte © Florence Christphotos © INSTITUT CULTUREL BERNARD MAGREZ