Exhibition ANACHRONISMS - Thierry BRUET -Article by Art historien Nathalie Becker

by Gila Paris | May 17, 2020

In 1962 in « Les maxibules », the insolent and mocking Marcel Aymé wrote : « Les anachronismes, at the theater, always sounds very avant-garde ».  Today, this temporal swing is one of the favorite thematic predilection of numerous contemporary artists and, without fawning, we confirm loud and clear that Thierry Bruet is one of its advocates. 

          His pictorial anachronisms are polished with enchanting iconoclast enthusiasm, capturing, with respect and consideration, the austere and nonetheless remarkable paintings of the great Flemish and Dutch old masters of the 17th century, the tenors of Baroque, the virtuoso Rococo, symbiotically incorporating them with references to modern and contemporary art. 

The fact that Charles I of England known for his devouring passion for the arts   ceremoniously portrayed in the original work of renowned Van Dyck is, in the world of Thierry Bruet, armed with a shopping trolley hunting the Balloon Dog and the Titi to enhance his Jeff Koons collection, demonstrates the magnitude of the artist’s « knowledge of the classic repertoire » but also the extent of his transgressive spirit and corrosive sense of humor. Thierry Bruet enjoys using satire in his work, while delivering a shrewd nudge to consumer society and the art market. He is in the same moral thread as those who, with refinement, dare to tackle and awaken consciences. 

His unlimited effervescence however requires meticulous and long-term dedication. His work is close to perfection. He flawlessly masters the use of oil as did the old masters. It is in his picturesque atelier he brings to life a prodigious ensemble of picturesque scenes filled with visual humor and confrontations, altogether flavorsome and incongruous. 

          His recent work is exhilarating. An incredulous caravaggesque Saint Thomas daringly approaches his index towards the genitals of an opulent Niki de Saint-Phalle’s Nana, a Van Dyck’s Lord Bernard Stuart, dressed in a treasured blue silk doublet, poses with a rebellious stare next to a compression of César Baldaccini which colors are matching his clothes, and a Warhol, king of Pop Art, is exposed wearing a wig in front of a portrait of Rembrandt. These dialogues, subtly incongruous, deliciously baroque and irreverent, aiming at the universality of art, have been appealing to the public for close to four decades. 

          The large worldly portraits of Thierry Bruet, his monumental decorative compositions, his spirit filled with à-propos and his perfect technique have all contributed to impress collectors, including celebrated designers in France and abroad. His work also takes center stage in remarkable locations such as the George V, the Shangri-La, and the secular Bristol in Paris, the Four Seasons in London, the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco, and the Four Seasons in Florence among others. More recently, the artist created an imposing and fascinating fresco in the « Belle époque » spirit at the Chalets of the Mont d'Arbois in Megève, an exceptional site so dear to the heart of the Rothschild family. 

Undoubtedly, Thierry Bruet is never where one expects him to be, a polycephalic and multidisciplinary artist for whom painting, just like sculpture and design, represents an art of living and an elegance of spirit that he is offering with generosity.

Nathalie Becker, October 2019

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