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David Lafrance: Summer 2014

July 17th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

David Lafrance Rebutoir 2014 Huile sur toile Oil on Canvas 122 x 152 cm (48” x 60”)

David Lafrance
Rebutoir
2014
Huile sur toile
Oil on canvas
122 x 152 cm (48” x 60”)

The exhibition

Galerie Hugues Charbonneau presents a solo exhibition of works by Montreal artist David Lafrance. Observational drawings from the Montérégie region are shown alongside paintings created subsequently in his studio. These cognitive representations of the countryside stem from deep introspection, and evoke the memory of place and the current dynamics that inhabit it.

The large canvases on display often suggest landscapes, and benefit from the artist’s vast visual repertoire, simultaneously encompassing folk art imagery, pastoral scenes created through the subtle layering of glazes, maps sketched in freehand, and expressive impasto techniques.

Among the depicted scenes, symbols from popular culture become cultural clues in themselves. Folk art objects or modern relics inscribed within these turbulent landscapes offer a glimpse into our industrialized society’s relationship with nature. Indeed, the troubling yet seductive environments created by the artist through the amalgamation of anachronistic objects become cathartic tools to express life’s paradoxical impulses. These dichotomies, where symbolically charged objects cohabit in natural, yet unidentifiable spaces, trigger a narrative discourse that foregrounds the complex relationship modern humans have with their environment. Nature and civilisation meet in Lafrance’s creative work, allowing us to revisit our preconceived notions of reality.

David Lafrance St-Philippe 2014 Fusain sur papier Charcoal on paper 38 x 53 cm (15” x 21”)

David Lafrance
St-Philippe
2014
Fusain sur papier
Charcoal on paper
38 x 53 cm (15” x 21”)

Artist’s statement

Painter, sculptor and sound installation artist, Lafrance creates unique works where an exalted natural world unfolds and merges with elements of human life. Through the creation of Edenic landscapes, Lafrance explores his own psyche and awakens his sensitive spirit to test the limits of expressionism. Within the artist’s practice, where basic subjectivity is laid bare, expressiveness is used to explore human cognitive reflexes and reveal specific points of view. By doing so, the artist uses art’s expressivity to confer critical value upon it. Indeed, Lafrance’s enigmatic work generally revolves around dissenting themes such as escapist pursuits, industrialization, nature, or individual and collective identity.

David Lafrance Un atelier à la campagne 2014 Huile sur toile Oil on canvas 183 x 274 cm (72” x 108”)

David Lafrance
Un atelier à la campagne
2014
Huile sur toile
Oil on canvas
183 x 274 cm (72” x 108”)

David Lafrance 20 000 ans 2014 Huile sur toile Oil on canvas 122 x 152 cm (48” x 60”)

David Lafrance
20 000 ans
2014
Huile sur toile
Oil on canvas
122 x 152 cm (48” x 60”)

David Lafrance La vie après 2014 Huile sur toile Oil on canvas 102 x 114 cm (40” x 45”)

David Lafrance
La vie après
2014
Huile sur toile
Oil on canvas
102 x 114 cm (40” x 45”)

David Lafrance Usine 05 2014 Huile sur toile Oil on canvas 38 x 58 cm (15” x 23”)

David Lafrance
Usine 05
2014
Huile sur toile
Oil on canvas
38 x 58 cm (15” x 23”)

David Lafrance Usine 08 2014 Huile sur toile Oil on canvas 31 x 41 cm (12” x 16”)

David Lafrance
Usine 08
2014
Huile sur toile
Oil on canvas
31 x 41 cm (12” x 16”)

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Lafrance-Ete2014-1

David-Lafrance-Ete2014-2

Benoit Aquin : Mégantic, A retrospective of the Prix Pictet, Les Rencontres d’Arles

July 7th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Benoit Aquin: Mégantic

A Prix Pictet Retrospective, Les Rencontres d’Arles

At the Magasin Électrique, parc des Ateliers, Arles, France

From July 7 to September 21, 2014

Revetement de polymere, exterieur de maison fondu, Lac Megantic 2013

Winner of the prestigious Prix Pictet in 2008 for his series The Chinese “Dust Bowl”, Montréal photographer Benoit Aquin has travelled the world for over 25 years, creating poignant images that bear witness to humanity’s often contentious relationship to the land.

The thirteen works from the Mégantic series, presented at Les Rencontres d’Arles as part of a Prix Pictet retrospective exhibition, reveal a wounded small town in eastern Québec devastated by the derailment and explosion of a freight train carrying crude oil in July 2013. Benoit Aquin surveyed the charred core of Lac-Mégantic in the months following the tragedy to take stock of the area’s destruction, but also of the life that tries to rebuild itself there.

He throws a harsh light on this environmental disaster, now emblematic of the neglectful management of Canada’s territories. At a time when oil industry lobbyists increase efforts to transform Québec into a new hub of trade in black gold, Benoit Aquin uncovers the human and environmental impact of political and economic ambitions in the frantic extraction of hydrocarbons, which in spite of recent events, is currently happening on a global scale. His work accompanies and supports citizen engagement that seeks to preserve the primacy of collective interests over corporatist ones from offending industries, and their accomplices among the political class.

The entire Mégantic series will be reproduced in a catalogue published in the fall of 2014 by VU, centre de diffusion et de production de la photographie, in Québec.

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