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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

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.

Transparence et distorsion (2016)

Noir d’ivoire et blanc de titane – Transparence et distorsion

Acrylic paint and gesso on acrylic panels

Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Montreal, from April 16 to May 28, 2016
Anna Leonowens Gallery, NSCAD University, Halifax, from November 17 to 28, 2015

Each piece is created on a very thin sheet of Plexiglas painted on one side before being bent into three sections through thermoforming. Two sections are painted in flat black tints, giving them a mirror-like quality, or in white, which reflects light. The third section is clear and covered in a pattern of translucent dots that seem to break away from the surface, producing the illusion of movement and depth. The folding of the two panels on either side of the central one produces a complex interplay of reflections between the three sections, while the concave shape it creates captures light and multiplies the effect of transparency or distortion within the cluster of dots. The choice of Plexiglas has deepened my research into the materiality of colour and light. The painting’s presentation in the gallery allows viewers to experience their near-sculptural nature as they extend into the exhibition space, and to witness how dramatically their appearance shifts depending on the angle of view.

All my gratitude to the Joseph Plaskett Foundation, the Triangle Arts Association, NSCAD University and the Robert Pope Foundation, who supported the development of this new project. My warmest thanks to my skilful and reliable studio assistants, Katie Lesser and Arkadi Lavoie Lachapelle, as well as Donald Thompson, Martin Schop and Atelier Clark, who helped resolve many technical challenges.

Photos: Guy L’Heureux

Tableaux grand format (2015)

Noir d’ivoire et blanc de titane – Tableaux grand format

Acrylic paint and gesso on acrylic panel

Galerie des Étables, Bordeaux, France, from December 11, 2014 to January 24, 2015

Choosing to paint exclusively in black and white represented a devious challenge: borrow a constraint from optical painters I admire while using opposite pictorial processes. Therefore, instead of deliberately painting colour patterns, I allowed matter itself to (de)form them. In my most recent project, I used thin flexible plexiglass panels. With my assistant’s help, I covered these supports with fresh paint and manipulated them in order to induce a displacement of liquid paint. The pattern of dots and trails that is generated by this process traces contradictory movements within the painting.

Thanks to: Centre Clark (Montreal) and the wonderful team at Zébra3 (Bordeaux) for being so welcoming and supportive. Above all, special thanks to Amélie Boileux for her invaluable contribution to this project.

Photos: Jean-Christophe Garcia.

Noir d'ivoire et blanc de titane (2014)

Noir d’ivoire et blanc de titane

Acrylic paint and gesso on MDF, mounted on Baltic birch plywood

Maison de la culture Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Montreal, from January 23 to March 9, 2014

This series of paintings was created using ivory black and titanium white pigments that were diluted with a great quantity of acrylic medium in order to make them translucent. Stimulated by the challenge arising from this constraint, I sought to let an intense visual depth emerge, beyond the simplicity of grayscale. The superposition of a fine coat of liquid color on black or white panels allows the emergence, through transparency, of very peculiar shades of black, brown and gray. A dotted pattern with trails reflects the displacement of paint on a flexible support that was curved. The result is a corpus of works that is both simple and complex, optical and material, controlled and unpredictable.

Thanks to: Darling Foundry and Astérides.

Photos: Martin Désilets.

Noir de fumée et blanc de titane (2013)

Noir de fumée et blanc de titane

Acrylic paint and gesso on Baltic birch plywood

Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Montreal, from November 9 to December 14, 2013
L’imagier, Gatineau, from January 17 to March 9, 2014
Galerie Colline, Edmundston, New Brunswick, from September 13 to October 20, 2013

These paintings were created using exclusively lampblack and titanium white pigments. The pure colors were simply diluted with a great quantity of gloss acrylic medium. By varying their degree of transparency and opacity, I was surprised to see a wide array of grays, with hints of color ranging from blue to brown, appear. Every series was created using a dripping process, which induces a predictable yet unique pattern. I used the various combinations of a color range limited to three shades of black and three shades of white, paying attention to the moments where a unified surface takes shape, while still hinting at the underlying layers below.

Thanks to: Est-Nord-Est artist residency and Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

Photos: Éliane Excoffier and Martin Désilets.

CMYK - Phase 2 (2012)

CMYK – Phase 2

Acrylic paint, gesso and screen printing ink on Baltic birch plywood

Optica, Montreal, from May 12 to June 16, 2012

Two series of paintings coexist and mingle in the gallery space. The Ellipses en transit are painted drop by drop like the paintings from phase 1, but part of the circular support is left exposed. From one painting to the other, I varied the color order (YCM, CMY, MCY, and so on). The illusions of depth or torsion that appear in the painted ellipse are contradicted by the marked presence of the wooden support, creating a spatial tension. The Flaques are made from a superposition of CMY or CMYK paint drops, of which I altered the transparency. A hint of white paint is often added to the mixture, changing the color tone from light to dark and its materiality from transparent to translucent.

Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts.

Photos: Richard-Max Tremblay.

CMYK - Phase 1 (2011)

CMYK – Phase 1

Acrylic paint and screen printing ink on Baltic birch plywood

Maison de la culture Maisonneuve, Montreal, from December 2, 2011 to January 8, 2012
Parisian Laundry, “Collision 8”, Montreal, from March 2 to 17, 2012

I restricted my palette to the four colors of print: cyan, magenta, yellow and black (known as the acronym CMYK). Paintings are made following a fairly straightforward process: liquid paint is poured drop by drop according to a controlled dripping method. As the paint is being poured, I observe the physical and optical mix of pure colors. For the Tondos CMY en déplacement series, the size of the support varies, but the painted concentric pattern keeps the same diameter. This creates an impression of cropping, which leads to an illusion of volume on some paintings. The Ellipses series shows nine possible variations of CMYK colors. Taken together, those paintings appear as if cut from a virtual pictorial space that would stretch beyond their limit. The two series are hung by aligning the centers of the painted patterns.

Thanks to: Fonds de recherche société et culture du Québec.

Artwork photos: Richard-Max Tremblay. Exhibition views: Julie Trudel.