Event Calendar
March 24, 1988 - April 28, 1988
Centre international d'art contemporain de Montréal, (CIAC)
Eleanor London Public Library, Art Gallery
Quebec, Canada,
Passages
"Passage(s)"
Fonds d'oeuvres du CIAC
The exhibition Passage(s) was presented by the Centre international d'art contemporain de Montréal (CIAC), a non profit organization founded in 1983 in order to present various activities in the visual arts: exhibitions, conferences and special events. The Portrait The photographic representation of people, whether as models or as subjects, is a theme of a group of works whose treatment foils in a way the conventional act of recognition. Such is the strategy of German artist Gotfried Helnwein.
Curator
Sylvie Raymond
The exhibition presented about 30 works, all of which were created by artists who had participated in the Cent jours d'art contemporain de Montréal.
Several media were represented, from painting and sculpture to photography, engraving and drawing. The works were characterized by a rich diversity in approach: figuration, narrative, conceptual art, abstract art, action painting, minimal and pop art.
The works are categorized under the aegis of various themes.
Landscape
The notion of landscape in the following examples derives from evocations of nature. Whether through photography or sculpture, these different representations of landscape show how nature can be revealed in its primary sense. In Jocelyn Alloucherie's Italiques (Paysages generaux) no 12, what seems first and foremost a landscape is on closer inspection an architectural space consisting of barely recognizable and contrasting masses. The photographic process manifests itself differently in the artwork of Martha Townsend, where landscape has become a pretext to explore an oval form. With the "negative" duplication of a motif taken both at night and during the day, Townsend's image recalls the reversed tree of British artist Tim Head, who invites reflection on environmental issues. Another borrowing from nature is the recurring leaf motif in the work of Roberto Pellegrinuzzi. Finely reproduced and enlarged on rice paper, the leaf becomes the subject of a comparison between notions of copy and original.
Optical Illusion
Some of the artists articulated their inquiries around the creation of illusion, the making of pretense. Producing special effects by means of photographic techniques or the manipulation of materials, these artists call insistently upon the imagination and invite us into a world of illusion. What we think is real, isn't at all. Thus Holly King creates photographs from prearranged landscapes in order to produce an illusion, a fictive image. The idea of deceptive appearance is also exploited by Allan Feistier. This French artist stages familiar objects that he puts on film so as to create an artificial, even theatrical effect. In keeping with this oscillation between reality and illusion is the trompe-l'oeil work of Pierre Ayot, Vie et mort de Tarzan, where the effect of relief images alters our perception of the real.
Social questions
Other artists are linked by preoccupations of a specifically human, social order. Lani Maestro's Roots reveals a troubled view of the notion of origin. Chen Zhen, an artist who has influenced the Chinese avant-garde, deals especially with the malaise brought on by questions of identity and exile.
Memory
References to the past awake in our memory information recorded following particular occasions or events. Recollection is born of their reconstitution. Artist Joey Morgan plays this subtle game by producing traces of real or imagined events. Her collages constitute narratives which she invites us to discover. Less definite are the recollections of Angela Grauerholz, whose photographic procedure creates a blurred effect around the foot that she uses both as a motif and as the subject of her work.
The Statement
Conceptual art, among other things, had a strong influence on artwork produced during the 1960's This movement, which sought to point out that a concept could be a work of art in itself, examined not so much the result as the idea of what was given to be seen. In the work of Joseph Kosuth, one of the principle conceptual artists in the United States, the primacy of the idea is rendered by silk-screened text that itself becomes the material of the work. In the same spirit, and for the past fifteen years, multidisciplinary artist Rober Racine has been exploring the French language in a world that privileges the language of words. Page after page, he attempts to transform the dictionary, Le Petit Robert. Playing with words in Les Pages-Miroirs, Racine distorts and parodies the primary function of his material.
The Portrait
The photographic representation of people, whether as models or as subjects, is a theme of a group of works whose treatment foils in a way the conventional act of recognition. Such is the strategy of German artist Gotfried Helnwein. The artist scorns the conventions of portraiture by presenting the celebrities that are his subjects in situations whose naturalness borders on voyeurism. A similar feeling of discomfort is provoked by the nudity of an aged body in Donigan Cumming's Pretty Ribbons. Portraiture takes shape by a play of contrasts in the work of Genevieve Cadieux. The image of a Petit Prince with a rubbed out face juxtaposed with the back view of a faceless female nude, allows free reign to a poetry of symbols.
The Medium
Breaking with tradition and the past, certain artists reconsider the raw matter of their art, privileging, for instance, the supporting material instead of the image. Material, surface,texture, form, colour and movement become, together and individually, the subject of their works. Such is substantially the case with Serge Lemoyne, whose painting is largely a plastic embodiment of gesture. Expressiveness in execution is also noticeable in the drawing of Guido Molinari. Action and physical intervention determine the resulting work by Stephen Schofield. By putting various objects under pressure, the artist entrusts the shaping of form to chance and reveals to us the organic characteristics of the material. Michel Daignault relies on the dynamism of the meeting of different materials and of the approaches peculiar to photography and painting.
Sylvie Raymond
Curator
Keith Richards
silver print, 1990, 99 x 66 cm / 38 x 25''




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