Residency at Hexagram-UQAM - May 2 to 13, 2022

May 2 to 13, I will be in a creation residency at École des arts visuels et médiatiques, UQAM, with the professor, scenographer and light designer Nancy Bussières. We will finish our « Matière lumière » project, in which Bussières creates light scores for my paintings. This project is supported by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Hexagram-UQAM et Faculté des arts de l’UQAM. It will be presented at Salle de diffusion de Parc-Extension, Montreal, from June 22 to August 21, 2022.

Solo exhibition Galerie Hugues Charbonneau - March 30 to April 30

Trio de triangles, 2021. Photo : Alex Pouliot

Réflexion, couleur et lumière
Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Montreal
March 30 to April 30, 2022
Opening : March 30, 4 to 7PM

Material, volume, colour, light. These are the core components in Julie Trudel’s practice. In contemporary terms, there’s a link here to the elemental concerns and exploratory geometries of Minimalism. (The work of Donald Judd, for example, is a key reference for Trudel.) Yet, Trudel’s shaped, sculptural forms, whether wall-mounted or freestanding, channel these perceptual elements into works that expand beyond the fundamentals. It’s a process as deeply informed by her sensitivities as a painter as it is by an abiding curiosity in both the technical complexities and expansive potential of form and luminosity. Consider the triptych Triptyque spécifique, where thin surface layers of backing paint and mirrored coating have been selectively removed from industrial-grade, coloured Plexiglas panels, which are then set in triangular compositions that extend horizontally from the gallery wall. Or Polyptique spécifique with its heat-molded lengths of red, blue, and yellow mirrored Plexiglas rising from the gallery floor in a screen of accumulated form. Ambient light is the active agent, seeping through and reflecting off Trudel’s angular surfaces and open volumes to create luminous plays of colour and shadow in varying intensities (Trudel calls it “painting without paint”) while at the same time implicating the viewers in their own mirrored presence. Think of these, perhaps, as a series of experimental proposals or studies in compositional contradiction, where the infinite becomes finite, and the finite becomes infinite. — Bryne McLaughlin

Group exhibition "Un Soleil" - Nov. 12 to Jan. 16

Un Soleil
Maison de la culture Notre-Dame-de-Grâce

November 12, 2021 to January 16, 2022

Meet the artists: Saturday, November 13, from 2PM to 5PM
Maija Annikki Savolainen, Jaakko Mattila, Erik Nieminen, Julie Trudel

‘Un Soleil’
Writer: Mojeanne Behzadi

“Plunging ever more deeply into winter and night,
I wander through my faery palaces of light.
Another sun rising in my heart, I awaken a spring within,
warming the world with the fires of imagination.”
– Charles Baudelaire “Landscape” translated into English by James McColley Eilers (2010)

Light is a source. It is a source of existence, spirituality, science, thought, and creation. This exhibition brings together the work of four artists who connect in their exploration of light as a way to bring to the surface phenomena that are otherwise invisible, infinitesimal, and mysterious. Jaakko Mattila, Erik Nieminen, Maija Savolainen, and Julie Trudel work in a range of mediums and yet each is invested in working through different materialities that reflect light as a way to examine what perception systems reveal about sunlight and its properties.

Through meticulous examination and rigorous method, each practice reveals an invisible layer of reality just beyond reach that awakens endless possibilities. Here, the artists draw from contemporary technologies as well as timeless principles and processes to expand our field of perception and widen our access to phenomena, both natural and manufactured. Through mediated light, the works propel us into another world, under another sun. The electromagnetic spectrum and its chromatic aspects are here explored through both abstract and figurative painting, photography, and installation in a stimulating visual conversation between the artists whose individual practices playfully nod to one another and present new paths for exploration and creation.

In his paintings, Jaakko Mattila uses techniques of illusion to highlight and heighten humans’ limited chromatic experience. His latest watercolours present almost invisible tones that add a spectral presence to the otherwise bright white medium. His approach evokes a spectral field of vision, on the dark side of the moon.

Colour is the focus of Julie Trudel’s paintings, through the use of unique processes and specific materials. In her latest series, she achieved 3D paintings transmuted by light through the use of fluorescent Plexiglas as support, overlapping its colour with that of the walls and of discreet paint gradients.

In her practice, Maija Savolainen is interested in the photographic process as a series of gestures through which light is transformed from one state to another. Through her work, she explores this process of light reactivity using photography, plants, robotics, and text, showing the interconnectivity of both objects and living things and their respective ways of receiving light.

By experimenting with casting light on various plastics and transparent materials out in the world, Erik Nieminen begins his paintings through an exploration of the patterns and shapes and colours that projected light reveals. These initial moments of aesthetic interest intuitively guide the direction and content of each of his compositions. He also uses fragments of photos and videos in this process, creating alternate realities, at once figurative and abstract.

"Deux par deux", beyond the walls exhibition - April 1 to December 31, 2021 - Galerie B-312, Montreal

Visuel de l'exposition Deux par deux, exposition buissonnière

Galerie B-312 is pleased to officially launch Deux par deux | Exposition buissonnière, a project that will be held until the end of 2021 in private homes. Twenty artists, twenty works, twenty hosts. Occupying intimate space rather than public space: that’s another way of dealing with art, isn’t it?

Vendu-Sold auction for Esse magazine: November 21

November 21
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Lot: 39
Rectangle courbé J + R + B
Folded and assembled coloured acrylic sheets,
97 x 97 x 20 cm
Estimate: $2,100

This work is part of a recent body of three-dimensional works in which Trudel continues her exploration of colour and transparency. The geometric composition of the piece harmonizes material and light to allow the colour to filter through. Within the sphere of the hoop, a luminous degradation mysteriously appears. Created using fluorescent Plexiglas—whose edges project light—the painting results from a rigorous artisanal process, discovered during the artist’s experiments on plastic. The support is successively cut, assembled, polished, and thermoformed. The result generates a visual complexity that reflects our era in which the screen is omnipresent.

Feature in Canadian Art Magazine : Outer Limits

Fall 2019

A conversation between artists Marie-Claire Blais, Julie Trudel and Caroline Monnet about the edges of space, colour, material and tradition in practices that push painting beyond control.

Outer Limits

Gallery Day Montreal: artist talk with Joani Tremblay - February 2

February 2, 3:30–4:30 p.m.
Galerie Hugues Charbonneau
372 rue Ste-Catherine O.

Talk in the exhibition “Bone Black and Titanium White – Colour and Light / Noir d’ivoire et blanc de titane – couleur et lumière”
Led by artist Joani Tremblay, in conversation with Julie Trudel
Held in French

Gallery Day Montreal

Couleur et lumière (2018)

2 minutes video

Noir d’ivoire et blanc de titane – couleur et lumière

Acrylic paint on folded and assembled colored acrylic sheets

Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Montreal, from January 16 to February 23, 2019
NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, from October 12 to November 9, 2018

Having reduced my palette to black and white in 2012, I am trying, since 2015, to include ambient light in my work, by painting on clear acrylic supports (commonly known as plexiglass), using this material’s transparency, reflective properties, reversibility and plasticity. By adding light to the traditional aspects of abstract painting, I seek to create a visual complexity that speaks of our time in which the screen is everywhere.

In this new project, I tried to reintroduce colour in my work, by ways of the support. I was seduced by primary coloured fluorescent plexiglass that throws light on its edges. The challenge was to create a fascination for colour and light that would be mainly pictorial with this material heavily associated with design. Thus, I used the plexiglass as if it was the paint: paying close attention to the specific effects occurring in the material. To make the most out of it, I have given up patterns to favour gradients that occur when a thick coat of acrylic paint gets thinner and let the colour of the panel appear. These gradients alter the colours, make the panels opaque and reduce the quantity of light that gets through them.

I created 3D paintings that hang to the wall but juts out into the room to catch surrounding light. Contrasting coloured panels overlap, creating new colours, light effects, and veils. The wall itself, painted black under some paintings, changes their hue and enhance this layering. Reversible, the paintings look contradictory when seen from different sides. However, one can easily mentally deconstruct their components, entirely exposed. This power of a painting to create an illusion, even when its material reality lay bare, is an important part of this project. Between transparency and opacity, illusion and objecthood, these paintings embody contradictions.


All my gratitude to l’École des arts visuels et médiatiques and the Faculté des arts of UQAM, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Joe Plaskett Foundation for the financial support of this project. I would like to highlight the precious and tireless contribution of my skilful, intelligent and reliable studio assistant Éloïse Carrier. The technical support of David Allard Martin, Mario Baillargeon, Danny Glaude, Olivier Heaps-Drolet, Ianick Raymond and Jean Talbot were also essential to realizing this body of work.

Video: Guillaume Roy-Messier
Photographer: Jean-Michael Seminaro

Solo Exhibition: "Couleur et lumière" - Jan. 17 to Feb. 23 - Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Montreal

Carré éclaté J/R + B + Blanc, 2018, Peinture acrylique sur panneau d’acrylique

Noir d’ivoire et blanc de Titane – Couleur et lumière
Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Montréal
January 17 – February 23, 2019
Opening: January 16, 2019, 17 h

For her third solo exhibition at the gallery, Julie Trudel presents a series of new tridimensional paintings, continuing her previous exploration of color in transparency. It was during a residency in Berlin in 2015 that she first discovered a model of fluorescent plexiglas of which the borders throw light. All while keeping the constraint she imposed on herself in 2012 to paint exclusively in black and white, it’s through the support that she has reintroduced primary colours into her work.

The geometric compositions of the paintings blend matter to light to show color. Veils of translucent acrylic paint subtly change the shade of the panels and their level of transparency. Trudel attains this result by means of a rigorous artisanal method, discovered through experimental trials on plastic. The support is successively cut, polished, assembled, painted and thermoformed to create folds at precise angles. Through these interventions, Trudel is able to liberate the Plexiglas of its semiotic boundaries heavily associated with industrial plasticity, to bring it into the pictorial field. The result generates a visual complexity that reflects our era of omnipresent screens.

The artist would like to warmly thank l’École des arts visuels et médiatiques and the Faculté des arts of UQAM, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Joseph Plaskett Foundation for the financial support of this project. She would like to highlight the precious and tireless contribution of her skilful, intelligent and reliable studio assistant Éloïse Carrier. The technical support of David Allard Martin, Mario Baillargeon, Danny Glaude, Olivier Heaps-Drolet, Ianick Raymond and Jean Talbot were also essential to realizing this body of work.