Renée Duval Gods and Monsters

October 31 to November 22, 2014
Vernissage : Thursday October 30 at 6 pm
Artist’s Talk: Saturday November 1st at 2 pm

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present the recent work of Renée Duval. The exhibition, Gods and Monsters, includes ten large format oil paintings on canvas executed over the last four years. Images of trees, singularly and lusciously recognizable as trees, are at one and the same time iconic forms, palpably filling the gallery space with an enigmatic beauty and sense of contained urgency. It is an honour to house them, to linger in their presence and no less to celebrate the artist who painted them.

Renée Duval’s recent paintings are as beautifully rendered and painterly as they are layered and complex. Trees and sky, the most central and recurring leitmotifs of the artist’s oeuvre, continue to exude their evocative power as they push towards an iteration increasingly imaginative, theatrical and hyper-real.

In Gods and Monsters, the use of the mirror image with its echo of sacred geometries along with the titles of gods and goddesses suggests we are being called upon to pay attention to something more equivocal and enigmatic than heretofore. Imagination and nature entwine, pull apart. Through the allure of these paintings − the sensual colour, agile brushwork and compositional finesse − the artist challenges our perception as she challenges her own. What is being given voice here is an unprescribed and open-ended painterly quest where threat and beauty seem delicately poised.

We are equally pleased to publish a catalogue, which includes works in the exhibition, earlier paintings as well as a transcribed conversation between Renée Duval and fellow artist David Elliott. The exchange, provoked by David Elliott’s astute comments and queries, allows us to hear directly from the artist regarding her ongoing preoccupations and passionate engagement with paint.

Renée Duval was born in Vancouver B.C. in 1963. She graduated with honours from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver and received her M.F.A. from Concordia University in Montreal. She has exhibited throughout Canada as well as in the U.S. and France and she has a number of works in both public and corporate collections. Duval has received numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts as well as the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Her work was included in the publications Carte Blanche Vol. 2 − Painting (a survey of contemporary Canadian painting) and in RBC Canadian Painting Competition: 10 Years. Renée Duval lives and works in Montreal and is currently the Gallery Exhibitions Director of the McClure Gallery of the Visual Arts Centre.