“Bruno Yvonnet’s usually figurative painting nevertheless steers us towards preoccupations other than the subject represented. Portraits, waves and vanitas-like still lifes in fact conceal an aesthetic, pictorial and even social issue which is the real object of his painting.
The technique used also issues from this subject. It is in fact variable, and can become an element of the meaning, or even a disturbing motif: the figures painted on sheetrock (Et in Arcadia Ego series) are made with a base of tar, with the bitumen gradually making the image disappear. The same goes for other series borrowing the image of photo stories or the kiss motif.
Other Bruno Yvonnet works borrow the clichés of the image, and those of the history of painting, by way of an extreme study of composition, and its stereotypes. Others are indexed on the calculations of probability of a future referendum (reunification of Cypress) or exam matters of style: the series of portraits titled Vaillants uses the heroic genre, in the historical diversity of its appearances (Dovjenko and Riefensthal, but also the Renoir who made the film A nous la liberté) and reveals the ambiguity of this emphasis.
Bruno Yvonnet’s work is thus more analytical than figurative; he highlights the decorative and iconographical functions of painting, pushes it to the point of absurdity, and thereby activates a metaphorical potential.” [...]
Excerpt from Boum, Françoise Lonardoni, 2013
Translated by Simon Pleasance, 2015