Swiss-American Madeleine Paternot is, invariably, an artist dedicated to painting, with that very commitment now being applied to installation and sculptural work. Stretching across the range of her work, Paternot retains a succinct focus on the interaction between paint and a nominal surface.
Her formal background in Cultural Anthropology affords her intellectual powers with which she may excavate traces of the creative arts from the formal timeline of human history, but her capabilities with paint drives her production, independently.
Her personal collection of vintage chairs alongside a fascination with the (literally and historically) multifaceted properties of crystal chandeliers serve as a platform for her most recent work. Paternot's interest in chairs relates to a pivotal item within the modern boudoir: an 18th century room designated to entertain gentleman callers, and an intimate space where the modern concept of the art salon was first conceived.
Paternot draws imagery from items accrued over years of nomadic wanderings: from Japanese anime to Chine-collé printmaking, wheat pasting, and calligraphy to create portraits emphasizing the spirituality and intimacy experienced within her home.
The current set of installations, executed in the studio, are fully-realized environments: wallpaper is composed of repeated imagery of Paternot’s painted chandeliers (as if they were photographic negatives). Her chairs and a dossier filled with pictures of chandeliers hang over the wallpaper, acting as double-agents of curiosity and reference.
Paternot references the work of Rudolf Stingel, Karen Kilimnik, Andy Warhol, and Elizabeth Peyton, based primarily in their critical executions of painting. Paternot’s work displays the appearance of the paint disappearing into portraiture, to noticeable strokes and ridges of the paintbrush making themselves visible, and also includes the composition of miniature pastoral scenes on plain paper which, eventually, are applied to a hard surface to mimic finely-crafted linoleum tiles.
Madeleine Paternot was born in Stanford, California in 1972. She received her BA from Vassar College in Cultural Anthropology. Her work appears in both public and private collections based in London, Paris, Milan, New York, Geneva, and Dubai. She serves on the board of The Heinemann Foundation and is a Co-Founder/Teaching Artist for the Verbier 3-D Residency & Sculpture Park in Verbier, Switzerland. She lives and works in New York City.
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