Forthcoming exhibition

The anteriority of the future: 2019 - 1978

11 - 22 September 2019

Wednesday 11th September at 7 pm: Philip Armstrong, Matthew Bowman and Mick Finch in conversation with Christian Bonnefoi co-organised with the Journal of Contemporary Painting


Campoli Presti is pleased to announce The Anteriority of the Future 2019-1978, a presentation of works by Christian Bonnefoi, and the launch of volume 5, issue 2 of the Journal of Contemporary Painting, titled “Painting as Remodel”. The new issue revisits Yve-Alain Bois’ 1993 collection of essays “Painting as Model” from a contemporary perspective to examine its ongoing impact. The opening is on 11 September with a talk between Philip Armstrong, Mathew Bowman, Mick Finch and Christian Bonnefoi taking place at 7 pm.

Yve-Alain Bois has written extensively about Bonnefoi’s work, including the essays ‘The pin’ and ‘The future anterior: On a canvas by Christian Bonnefoi’ that will be included in Journal of Contemporary Painting in English translations. Stemming from this longstanding collaboration, Bonnefoi has created a visual essay for the latest issue, entitled The Anteriority of the Future. A montage of images and existing works explore the chronological and conceptual organisation of his work. Since 1994, Bonnefoi has been completing a diagram of his different series, combining written propositions with works - drawn, painted or sculpted. His text reflects on the diagram as a device that interacts between the written and the painted.

By addressing notions of temporality, Bonnefoi’s recent series activates the diagram by working with former procedures, present in the previous series. Caught up in unending cycles of return, the artist engages in a retrospective reading of his work. The resulting work does not expand from a single event but rather follows an eternal series of oscillations between the past and the present. The paintings on view take Bonnefoi’s historical series Janapa (1978) as a point of departure to further dismantle the unity of the surface (2019).

Bonnefoi’s work engages in a set of operations that assume the three-dimensionality of the canvas, by rotating and displacing its orientation, as well as creating depth. The Janapa series gives particular importance to the role of the frame as a structuring device that allows the works to become more complex in divisions and volume. For his new works, Bonnefoi explores further manipulations on the colour of the tarlatan, a sheer, open-weaved fabric. Through a process of pigmentation, the colour is no longer an external element of the canvas, but part of its materiality. Modifying its structure, the colouring process creates a series of veiled transparencies, engaging the viewer in an interplay between what is visible and what is concealed.