Michel Parmentier was born in 1938 in Paris and studied at the École des Métiers d'Art. While there, he met Daniel Buren with whom he founded BMPT in 1966. With Olivier Mosset and Niele Toroni, the group put on provocative happenings and created minimalist works that had the drastic intention of proclaiming the refusal of painting. Since December 1965, Parmentier’s work has consisted of enormous canvases covered with monochrome horizontal stripes, 38cm high, which alternate with white strips. These works are made using pliage – a technique invented in 1960 by Simon Hantaï – which became Parmentier’s only working method from this moment. He dedicated himself to these paintings for three years, modifying the colour of the stripes each year: blue in 1966, grey in 1967, red in 1968. After a break of a few years, in 1983 the artist took up his work where he left off. All Parmentier’s works are influenced by radicalism and a refusal to compromise on form or ideology. His canvases are not fed by discourses and interpretations; his painting is just painting, without subjectivity or expressiveness. There are only his stripes, neutral and repetitive.
Parmentier's work is included in the collections of: MOMA (New York), Carré d'art (Nîmes), Centre national des arts plastiques (Paris), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Fonds régional d'art contemporain Bourgogne (Dijon), Fonds régional d'art contemporain Bretagne (Rennes), LaM (Lille), Musée d'art moderne, d'art contemporain et d'art brut (Villeneuve-d'Asq), Musée d'art moderne Saint-Etienne Métropole, Musée de Grenoble, Musée des beaux-arts de Nantes.
The Galerie Loevenbruck in Paris (2014) and the Galerie Jean Fournier in Paris (2011) recently held exhibitions dedicated to Michel Parmentier. Some of his canvases are shown at Punta della Dogana in the exhibition “Accrochage”(2016).