September 15, 2009

Joanne Mattera in Brooklyn

Silk Road series installation wall

Photos courtesy of Joanne Mattera

I had the chance to see some of Joanne's new Silk Road paintings when she came to Montréal last August. I have always been keen to this series ever since I saw some at the Schlosberg Gallery at the Montserrat College of Art during the International Conference on Encaustic. Her new paintings are stunning. They evoke a meditative realm while calling the viewers attention to look, reflect and discover what lies within and beyond these layers. The edges are rich with vibrancy and can only be appreciated in the real. The relation of color and transparency found in these new works resonate with such complexity, that you become completely absorbed by these paintings. The series exhibited at Metaphor are done in a range of cooler tones echoing the element of water. If you are in the area, seeing the show in the flesh is a must, if you are not around New York check out Joanne's blog for more images of the show and installation shot of her paintings.

Silk Road 116, 2009, Encaustic on panel 12"x12"

Photos courtesy of Joanne Mattera

Slippery When Wet
September 18-November 22
Opening Friday, September 18, 6:00-9:00 pm

Artists include :Suzan Batu, Susan Homer, Joanne Mattera, Nancy Manter,
Andrew Mockler, Don Muchow and Peter Schroth

Joanne Mattera's blog

In mid-August, Yechel and I had the pleasure to welcome Joanne Mattera at our place. She stayed for a few days and we took the time to tour the city and visit many different exhibitions together. They were full pack days filled with strong shows and engaging conversations. This visit turned into two great posts on her blog. In the first one we read about different exhibitions that we visited and in the second she is giving a thorough visit of our studios. Her blog is really interesting and informative, covering a wide range of artistic practices and aspects. Reading her many different posts is definitely worth following.

My working table with double-boilers

September 8, 2009

Doug Scholes, residency project

(Photos courtesy of Aamfgpr)

Acts applied mostly for good practical reasons (Aamfgpr) is Doug Scholes residency project hosted by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG), Lethbridge, Alberta as part of the gallery’s series Into the Streets: Avenues for Art. The event takes place fromAugust 27th to September 26th, 2009 with a closing reception on September 26th @ 8:00 p.m.

(Photos courtesy of Aamfgpr)

I had the chance to see other installations and wax casted sculptures from Doug in different venues in Montreal that were very engaging. Due to my interest in his practice, I included his work in the conference I gave last June on Encaustic Still Lifes (see previous post). While introducing his work, there was a great response from the audience that furthered accentuated his compelling use of the medium. Doug's work evolves around the notion of maintenance and deterioration; his use of beeswax is completely relevant to his discourse.

If ever you are in the Lethbridge area, I strongly suggest you visit this ongoing project. If you are too far away, as I am, you may follow the evolutions of the pieces by checking his website. Go in the menu on the right for more images and information.

Third Annual Encaustic Conference

In early June I presented a lecture on encaustic Still Life painting during the Third Annual Encaustic Conference at the Montserrat College of Art. My presentation consisted both of aesthetic and technical aspects. I introduced different artists working with wax either in painting or in sculpture and installation. The theme of my lecture focused on "Still-life" but I extended the definition by showing a variety of artists using the subject in a wide spectrum. The common thread between the artists was their use of wax either in the representation of an object or their use of the actual physical object. I also presented my own practice and different technical aspects of encaustic painting. I covered the nine years I've been working with the medium, showing the different studios I occupied, various ventilation systems and many different techniques from pure encaustic painting to mixed media.

My purpose is not to post my entire presentation as it was dense with information but rather to list the artists whom I presented with some links to their websites and their galleries. Within the coming weeks and months, I will be more active on my blog adding information, books and artists that inform my practice. The most important thing at the moment is to gratefully thank the artists who answered my different emails and gave me sufficient information on their production and provided me with images so I could present their work accurately.

Aganetha Dyck

Doug Scholes

Jill Douglas

Karin Wells

Kevin Frank

Michal Sagar


Ted Arnold

Tony Scherman

June 15, 2009

Luminous Landscape

In June, I was part of a group show presented in parallel to the Third Annual Encaustic Conference at the Montserrat College of Art organized by the collective Luminous Landscape and curated by Linda Cordner, Janet Bartlett Goodman and Charyl Weissbach. The collective published a beautiful small catalogue in parallel to this event. It is a great purchase if you are interested in seeing many different avenues that encaustic is offering us in relation to the notion of nature and landscape. The book is well designed and offers good reproduction quality. You can order it directly from this site.

Alexandre Masino
Au gré du souffle, 2009
Encaustic on panel, 18" x 26"

Alexandre Masino
Écume de neige, 2009
Encaustic on panel, 18" x 26"

March 30, 2009

Exhibition by Yechel Gagnon

Yechel Gagnon, Voyageurs, 2009, carved jequitiba plywood, 24" x 24"

If you're in the Toronto area during the month of April, Yechel Gagnon will be exhibiting her new plywood bas-reliefs in a solo show at the Moore Gallery.  Her last show there was in 2004, so it will be interesting to see her latest developments with her signature production. This upcoming show has already great visibility since it will be featured on the front cover of Slate Magazine

The gallery press release states "Gagnon's distinctive approach of materiality transforms plywood into a unique pictorial medium rich of its intrinsic layering. (...) In Vastness, she uses different plywood essences, such as Okoume and Jequitiba, in order to work with different colours and obtain a variety of contrast within each work... she incorporates for the first time the "lamination" of the plywood in the actual image making as a strong pictorial element. This new approach introduces geometrical elements to her compositions, enriching the carving vocabulary and bring forward the vast possibilities of the language she developed with her medium".  

Geneviève Chevalier wrote in Documents exhibition essay of 2007 :
" Yechel Gagnon's work have an amazing evocative power. This is perhaps because they do not focus on singular association, but leave the door open to an entire series of associations which ripen in the mind of the beholder" 

Alexandria Pierce wrote in Palimpsest exhibition essay of 2004:
"Gagnon's work is not an art of chance but one of precision, gradation and subtlety.  Her employment of monochrome or very restrained hints of colour bears comparison to medieval Chinese aesthetics where poetry, calligraphy and painting were intended to inspire contemplation."

I obviously think it's worth visiting this exhibit! 

Yechel Gagnon
April 4-April 25, 2009
Vernissage: Saturday April 4, 2009
Moore Gallery
80 Spadina Ave, #404
Toronto, Ontario

March 19, 2009

Encaustic International Biennial

Où se livrent les nuages, 2009, encaustic on panel, 14.5" x 21"

From March 29 to June 19, I will be part of the Encaustic Biennial organized by R&F Paints entitled Encaustic Works '09 that will take place at the Castle Gallery of College of New Rochelle in New York State.

This exhibition will definitely be a rare occasion to check out what's happening in the realm of encaustic painting. There are among 40 artists participating in the show, working in a wide variety of styles and using the medium in their own personal way. R&F Paints published for the occasion a thorough catalogue that you can order from them (click here).

If you are in the area, this show is not to be missed.
R&F present the Seventh International Biennial 
Encaustic Works'09
March 29- June 19, 2009
Opening: Sunday April 5, 2-4 pm

March 9, 2009

Group Show, Galerie de Bellefeuille

From March 12 to 23, I will be part of a group show on landscape painting at Galerie de Bellefeuille, in Montreal. For this specific occasion, I have completed three large paintings pursuing my mountainscape series. The physicality of the paint is particularly important in these works due to their scale and treatment. Of course these images will only give you a small hint of their reality. I keep cursing against reproductions and their impossibility to convey what a painting is really about, but deep down I think it is a great thing a painting remains a unique object that has to be experienced in the flesh. Click on the images to have a better idea...

Où naissent les nuages, 2009, encaustic on panel, 40" x 60"

L'orée du ciel, 2009, encaustic on panel, 40" x 60"

Racines de Jade, 2009, encaustic on panel, 40" x 60"

February 26, 2009

Group Show, Conrad Wilde Gallery

L'aube des lumières, 2008, Encaustic on panel, 16" x 23"

I'm glad to announce that I'm part of  group show at the Conrad Wilde Gallery, in Tucson, Arizona, from March 7 to 28th. The show includes 20 artists working with encaustic and gives a great overview of the versatility of the medium. The gallery is publishing a beautiful and exhaustive catalogue of the event which is available through them. For a complete listing of the participating artists, please click here.

Fourth Annual Encaustic Invitational
210 N. 4th Ave
Tucson, Arizona, 85705

Yechel Gagnon - Print

Yechel Gagnon, Manifestation, 2008, digital print, 35" x 17.5"

Vantage Art Projects is excited to announce Manifestation by Yechel Gagnon as the sixth edition in the first FRESH PICKS volume! Manifestation is a digital work that was created during a residency at Sagamie, The National Research for the Contemporary Digital in Quebec and developed as an edition especially for FRESH PICKS.

About this edition, Gagnon states:
"This work is significant because it incorporates all the different facets of my work by creating a dialogue between my bas-reliefs, the drawings and prints but within the digital realm. This image consists of images of nature, integrated with my carved plywood textures and then I've digitally drawn over the images. This digital work becomes an extension to my practice and is the only one that exists of this series."

Manifestation is a unique opportunity to collect an image from Yechel Gagnon that is an exclusive release from her archive. To inquire abou this project, click here.

February 23, 2009

Paul Fenniak in New York

Paul Fenniak, a good friend of mine, will be showing in New York in the coming weeks at the Forum Gallery. If you are in the area, this is really worth seeing. Paul's work, like all good paintings, most be seen in person to be truly appreciated. His handling of paint is rich and compelling, placing him among the best realist painters. 

Paul Fenniak, Encounter, 2008-09, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches

Paul Fenniak, Encounter (detail), 2008-09 
oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches 

February 26 to April 11, 2009
Forum Gallery
745 Fifth Ave., 4th floor (just north of 57th street)