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Livre Brulé (on red)

Livre Brulé (on red)

Burnt book on canvas, 1974


Courtesy The Mayor Gallery, London

In 1962 Bernard Aubertin made his first burned books in an attempt to materialise the tracking of time. Using fire and the resulting charred wood and smoke as media, Aubertin references the myth of Prometheus. Stealing fire from Mount Olympus to give it to mankind, the Greek hero warned them of the imperative responsibility in the essential quest to understand the universe. "My book work contains messages imbued with humanism and I hope that they induce a lucid reflection on the world."

Bernard Aubertin

French artist Bernard Aubertin is known for his monochromatic red paintings, which he first started making during the period between 1958-59. In 1961 Aubertin officially joined the experimental ZERO movement, which adopted monochrome expression as a way of breaking with tradition. The same year, Aubertin added the medium of fire to his works. From 1965, Aubertin started making performances of burning paintings, books and objects and thus became considered a conceptual artist.

Aubertin's work has been shown widely in group shows with other Zero artists. Recent solo exhibitions include Musée de la Ville de Nice and Palais de Tokyo, Paris.