Jean-Marc Bustamante was born in 1952 in Toulouse, lives and works in Paris, and is considered one of France’s most renowned artists today. Since the 1980s, his artistic work has continuously evolved, as he engages in an ongoing dialogue between sculpture, painting, and photography. Inspired by his deep connection to architecture and landscape, he creates works that impress with their vibrant colors and distinctive contours.

Since the early years of his career as a painter in 1978, Bustamante has distinguished himself by his unique approaches and techniques. His initial “photographic paintings” presented large-scale views of houses and buildings on the outskirts, blurring the boundaries between photography and painting in innovative ways.

Parallel to his depictions of landscapes, sculptural works also emerged in his Interiors series, described as “memories of cut objects connected to the body.” Yet, these influences are also evident in his painterly works when he uses drawings as the starting point for his images and transforms them through the use of various materials and printing techniques on acrylic bases.

Bustamante’s artistic expression reached its peak with his series “Lumières” (1987–93). In this series, he printed black and white images from architecture magazines of the 1930s and 1960s on transparent Plexiglas, achieving a fascinating alteration of their appearance. This technique, utilizing the influence of light and transparency, imparted his works with a unique luminosity and depth.

In 2003, Bustamante integrated figures into his photographs for the first time when he conceived the Pavilion of the Amazons as a sort of “pagan chapel” for the Venice Biennale. In doing so, he combined photographic portraits, paintings, and abstract drawings on Plexiglas.

His works have been acclaimed in numerous solo exhibitions worldwide, including at the Kunsthalle Bregenz and the Musée d’Art Moderne Saint-Étienne Métropole (2006), Tate Gallery London (1998), Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (1994), Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume Paris (1996), and Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven (1992). Additionally, he has taught at various art institutions, including the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam and the Kunstakademie in Munich, and served as director of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris from 2015 to 2019. His influence extends far beyond France, as he participated in renowned exhibitions such as documenta 8, 9, and 10 (1987, 1992, 1997) and presented his works in leading art institutions worldwide.

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