Sebastian Bieniek: Paintings

Solo Show

About the exhibition
Grid view
Cross black


by Olivier Varenne

“I think a lot. I think that in a way I paint the shadow into the idealised and therefore, unreal paintings. A shadow which seems to me to be more real than the standardized picture of an ideal.”

“I start with imitation because I think that the imitation can help me to localise what is behind of all of the stuff that pretends to be an original, but that are actually nothing more than copies. New names, new brands for old stories.”

“However I think that the personal and individual in my work is my point of view and the way I act. Even if it often seems the opposite in fact I go first to the back side. I ignore the face and go to the bottom.”


Sebastian Bieniek, February 2016.

About the curator

Olivier Varenne, Co-Founder and Head Curator at Collectionair, is the Co-Director of Exhibitions & Collections and International Curator at Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania, Australia. Based in London, Olivier Varenne has sourced most of the contemporary art in MONA’s collection. Through his relentless trips around the globe he has been instrumental in the buying and commissioning of works from a vast array of emerging artists, including Michel Blazy, Ryoji Ikeda, Oliver Beer and Ed Atkins, as well as securing masterpieces by artists such as Chris Ofili, Jean Tinguely and Jannis Kounellis. Olivier has also brought important installations such as Richard Wilson’s 20:50, Wim Delvoye’s Cloaca and Gregory Barsamian’s Artifact, to MONA.

Olivier has also succeeded in bringing important established contemporary artists to MONA for exhibitions and retrospectives. Most recently with Matthew Barney: River of Fundament (2014-2015), Marina Abramovic: Private Archeology (2015 - 2016) and Gilbert and George: The Art Exhibition (2015).

Along side others at Mona, Olivier has also co-curated Celeste Boursier Mougenot’s: From Hear to Ear (2009), Christian Boltanski: The Heart Archive (2010), Yannick Demmerle (2012), I Look to You and I See Nothing (2013; Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE); The art component of MONA FOMA and Dark Mofo and The Red Queen (2013 – 2014).

Alongside Jean-Hubert Martin and Tijs Visser, Olivier co-curated the 3rd Moscow Biennale in 2009 and Theâtre du Monde (2013 ; La Maison Rouge, Paris/Mona). In 2010 he curated On and On at Casa Encendida Museum, Madrid. As well as Wim Delvoye (2011 – 2012), Chiharu Shiota: In Silence (2011) and Beam in Thine Own Eye (2013).