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OPENINGS: JONATHAN BINET

Jonathan Binet, Dancefloor (details), 2012, acrylic, spray paint, tape, canvas, wood, dance poles, engraved walls. Installation view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Photo: Aurélien Mole.

ONE OF THE MOST HACKNEYED ROUTINES of art criticism is the up-close-and-personal account of the artist at work. This usually involves the writer’s physical presence (“I’m sitting in X’s studio . . .”) tethered to some unforeseen calamity (“. . . and then, oops, the canvas fell over”).

I want to thank Jonathan Binet for sparing me this exercise—not because one cannot gain insight into his small yet impressive body of work through the day-to-day accidents of the studio, but because those accidents are themselves the subject of the work. Visiting Binet’s first solo museum show at the CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux in France this past November, one had the distinct impression of making an impromptu studio visit, as if the artist, in a frantic hurry to clean up, hadn’t had time to put away all his rejects. The result was seven rooms filled with abstract painting gone

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