Jean-François Karst

Born in 1975

Lives and works in Rennes

Based on the praxis of drawing and painting, with forays into sculpture, Jean-François Karst’s work questions the notion of representation, imitation, and transformation, but also the restrictions connected with material and laws. On the one hand, physical laws in the process of making and using materials, like his objects and pictures using acrylic paint. On the other hand, by confronting the status of the work and the artistic act with the legal limits of the practice of the object, the image, and the pretense, as in this series of false one euro pieces, and this caravan made of bricks whose status wavers between construction, sculpture, and possible dwelling. Or again with this series of ceramic aerials, kinds of a priori facsimiles diametrically opposed to any ornamental issue, and almost undetectable when they are put in their ordinary context. In tandem, Jean-François Karst works around the question of the motif, a term which, in painting, has a whole host of meanings. For example, “working on the motif” –‘live’--describes an artistic work carried out in the presence of the subject: it is usually a question of landscape. But the “motif” also refers to the organization and repetition of forms and colours. Jean-François Karst often works on the basis of the ambiguity of these two definitions, transposing the notion of landscape into a notion of environment, a close environment, often urban, disparate, producing a large number of possibilities, signs, forms and images…

Biographical notes translated with the support of the Centre national des arts plastiques - Cnap.