amsterdam

Jean-Baptiste Maitre, Shaped Cinema, 2010, still from an HD video, 13 minutes.

Jean-Baptiste Maitre

Martin van Zomeren

Jean-Baptiste Maitre, Shaped Cinema, 2010, still from an HD video, 13 minutes.

A young French artist based in Amsterdam, Jean-Baptiste Maitre is engaged in a project that might be described as the deconstruction of the modernist text. Not Necessarily Words, 2010, the work that gives his solo show its title, appeared, at first glance, to be a piece of writing in yellow neon, inexplicably turned off; then one realized that it was a skillfully molded ceramic bas-relief. The artist told me that his intention is to compare the manual nature of a traditional artistic process with the industrial techniques that were introduced into art by avant-garde practices in the 1970s.

Another work, Plywood as Media, 2008, is composed of several planks resting against the wall—or at least so it seems. Here too, however, there is a mimetic play with materials, in this case slabs of plaster on which the artist has silk-screened an image that suggests the texture of plywood.

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