Projects

2018

Couleur et lumière

Couleur et lumière (2018)

5 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