For his second solo exhibition with Sans titre (2016), Robert Brambora proposes a project entirely devoted to painting, divided into two sections.
In the first section, the artist has placed four paintings, linked by the subject of fire: a car consumed by flames, the burning of the Notre Dame cathedral, a mysterious naked figure flying from his vehicle, seeming to precipitously escape from a burning building, and finally, a group of dancers united around a blaze.
In doing so, Brambora inventories different perspectives associated with fire and whose images systematically return to us: riots, national drama, personal history, rituals. Formally, the scenes are seen through screens, and the composition sometimes allows a viewer to discern the hands that hold them. This mise en abyme is a way for Brambora to exacerbate the distance between the subject and the spectator. In such a way, the space left by the artist between the action and the emotion permits a viewer the distance necessary to question the reality of the images, the meaning they create, their causes, their consequences.
The works of the second section of the exhibition take the form of the silhouette of an embrace. They are juxtaposed with the paintings of the first section and seem to comprise a counterpoint. Brambora here represents intimacy, private life, a sense of sanctuary. These are no longer scenes of the outside world but interior perspectives. The artist develops a new body of work which refers to still life tradition, replacing it in the context of a contemporary apartment. The images evoke different moments and sentiments linked to relationships, notably amorous ones, between individuals: sometimes painful, dark, luminous, outrageous…
This group is supplemented by three other paintings. In the first are seen two dogs, in a pose halfway between play and combat. The two other paintings offer an interior view of an open oyster, creating a feeling between attraction and repulsion. These allegories dredge up ambiguities that generate malaise. The artist seeks to illustrate the sensation of discomfort: this feeling to which we have difficulty putting into words.
These new works comprise a continuation of Brambora’s research on the effects of the capitalist society upon the individual in his or her relations with others, with the city, with work, with him or herself. The artist paints distinct points of views and perspectives, sometimes partially contradictory, and in such a way invites a viewer to question him or herself about his or her own connection to events, and to their effects on private life.
— Lucie Sotty