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2017-2018 Season

Cynthia Girard-Renard La main invisible
Karine Fréchette Astérisme
Secret Studio A Fundraising Exhibition
Lynn Price How Small a Thought
Daniel Langevin Vacuités
Intervention: 31 Women Painters Invited Curator: Harold Klunder
Ito Laïla Le François Toi et ta splendide laideur
Annual Student Exhibition 2018

Cynthia Girard-Renard La main invisible

Cynthia Girard-Renard

Vernissage: Thursday September 7, at 6 pm
Exhibition: September 8 to 30, 2017

If they have no more bread,
let them eat cake!
Marie-Antoinette, 1789

The McClure Gallery is pleased to launch the season with the recent work of Cynthia Girard-Renard. With her new project, La main invisible, the artist creates a satirical version of economic concepts such as the law of supply and demand, growth and decline, and free trade. Cynthia Girard-Renard creates a universe in which politics, identity, and imaginary worlds mingle across different disciplines such as painting. Her theatrical treatment of the exhibition space plunges the visitor into complex, timeless, and stylistically non-hierarchical pictorial constructions.

In the series of paintings, called La main invisible, a wild capitalism is enacted through bizarre interactions between human and animal figures. Reflecting upon current times and economic questions that have a real impact, characters suggest a poetic space of reflection upon the future, utopia, and liberty. It is a world in which painting, installation, and performance meet in an unbridled fantasy, full of humour and poetic moments. During the vernissage, the artist will present a perfinance. Dressed up as ant and accompanied by her dog Satan, who will be dressed up as a cicada, she will read poetry and publish a small zine entitled L’Économie pour les cons.

CYNTHIA GIRARD-RENARD is a visual artist and writer. She received her MFA from Goldsmiths College, London, UK (1998). For more than 20 years, she has actively exhibited in Canada and internationally, including: Thousand Plateaus Art Space, Chengdu, China (2011); Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina (2010); Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Québec (2010); September Gallery, Berlin (2009); Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2009); SPACE, London (2006), not to mention her solo exhibition, Fictions sylvestres, at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2005) and her participation in the 2008 Quebec Triennial. Recently she had solo exhibitions at L’Écart Rouyn-Noranda (2017), Galerie Hugues Charbonneau (2016), Uma Certa Falta de Coerencia, Porto, Portugal (2015), and the Esker Foundation, Calgary, Alberta (2014). She is represented by Galerie Hugues Charbonneau in Montréal. Her most recent book entitled Le Renard Vulve, an erotic-poetic novel set on Mont-Royal, was published in 2017 in Montreal.

Karine Fréchette Astérisme

Karine Fréchette

Vernissage: Thursday October 5, at 6 pm
Exhibition: October 6 to 28, 2017
Artist Talk: Thursday October 12, at 7 pm

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present the recent work of Karine Fréchette. Her exhibition Astérismes explores the phenomenon of natural and artificial light in painting, and thereby indirectly considers an increasingly complex and distorted relationship between space and time. This body of work is fed by a fascination with all sorts of transmitted waves, be they of astral or telecommunication origin. She evokes a flux of oscillations, as if the canvas becomes a receptacle, where undefined currents are mobilized or become the anchor point of an expanding network. The immaterial is materialized through a dozen medium and large format canvases.

Various procedures, such as repetition, modulation, the accumulation of linear motifs, and the echoes of digital or analog representations, serve as matrices of a genuine subject: irregularity. This provokes different illusions and disorientations of optical and spatial perception. A space-time experience that is possible, but unclear.

Karine Fréchette investigates the relationship between colour, light, space, and movement. Her practice is resolutely Neo Baroque, and is close to Op Art and early 20th century abstraction. She searches constantly for ways to activate the space between the canvas and the spectator. Like an asterism, she attempts to create formal relationships, to trace the lines between impromptu ideas, and to uncover analogies.

KARINE FRÉCHETTE lives and works in Montreal. She completed her MFA at Concordia University at the end of 2016 after obtaining a BFA in Visual and Media arts at UQAM (2009). During her studies, she received the Hélène Couture Award, and was a finalist in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition (2014). Her work has been shown at Galerie B-312, Art-Mûr Gallery, Stewart Hall Gallery, and at the Gatineau Cultural Centre. This year, after her first artist residency at Banff Center (Alberta), she represented up and coming painters at the Jeux de la Francophonie in Côte d’Ivoire.

Secret Studio – A Fundraising Exhibition


Gala Evening: Thursday, November 9 at 6 pm
Exhibition: November 4-18, 2017
Location: Visual Arts Centre, 350 Avenue Victoria, Montreal, QC H3Z 2N4

A unique fundraising event featuring hundreds of artworks selected from the studios of our community of professional artists. You won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to discover hidden gems and purchase affordable art while supporting our creative community. Ticket holders for the Gala Event are entitled to first dibs on great art plus wine and hors d’oeuvres.

About us:

The Visual Arts Centre is a thriving cultural community of artists, teachers, and students. We’ve been part of Montreal’s artistic fabric for over 70 years. Our School of Art is Canada’s largest bilingual independent not for profit art school. The Centre’s McClure Gallery offers exciting exhibitions, seminars, and lectures. ARTreach, the Visual Arts Centre’s outreach program, reaches out into the community to creatively engage with the broader public.

Thanks to our Gold Sponsor:

Lynn Price How Small a Thought

Lynn Price

Vernissage: Thursday November 23, at 6 pm
Exhibition: November 23 to December 16, 2017
Artist’s Talk: Thursday November 30, at 7 pm

How small a thought it takes to fill someone’s whole life! … If you want to go down deep you do not need to travel far; indeed, you don’t have to leave your most immediate and familiar surroundings.

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Culture and Value (1946)

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present the thesis work of Lynn Price. Her exhibition How small a Thought explores the genre of still life, a genre with a rich and complex history that offers a diversity of contemporary possibilities to investigate human relationships with everyday objects. Through a series of paintings on paper, Price works with accumulation as a metaphor for marking increments of time that form a minute, an hour, a week…a life.

Price says: ’’For quite some time I have been making still-life paintings of lemons. It is a consuming process of focusing on something deeply, over time. I conflate the genre of still life and a rule-based process as a means of inquiry into the phenomenology of internal time consciousness, the essential structures of consciousness that make possible the unified perception of an object that occurs across successive moments. Using strategies of iteration, variation, and accumulation, I fill time with an activity that, in itself, is meant to reveal what it is to experience time passing’’.

LYNN PRICE lives and works in Powell River, British Columbia. She is completing her MFA at Concordia University after obtaining a BFA from Emily Carr University in 2013. Her work has been shown in Canada in various solo and group exhibitions and she participated in international residencies in England and Finland.

Daniel Langevin Vacuités

Daniel Langevin Photo Guy L'Heureux
Photo: Guy L’Heureux

Vernissage: Thursday January 4, at 6 pm
Exhibition: January 5 to 27, 2017

The McClure Gallery is pleased to begins 2018 with the recent work of painter Daniel Langevin. His exhibition Vacuités presents work of diverse formats, sometime in series or amas (clumped together). Sylvain Lafleur, part-time faculty in communication studies and independent researcher, says: ‘’Over the course of many years and exhibitions, Daniel Langevin’s work has featured clean compositions highlighted by precise, flat areas of colour. For him, it is possible to carry forward the work of his predecessors (those who worked during the prime of formalist painting) by exploiting the possibilities of shapes and motifs not solely limited to geometry. Beginning with images of everyday objects, he extracts abstract polychromatic forms that create optical effects. More specifically, he reduces these objects to motifs to create unusual forms and to erase their original references. In the spirit of Hard Edge painting, Langevin reproduces the shapes with care upon the smooth surface of the support, creating paintings that provoke lingering effects upon the eye through the meeting of contrasting colours and the subtle exploitation of tonal variations.

In his exhibition at the McClure Gallery, Vacuités, Daniel Langevin continues to work with the formal rearrangement of everyday objects. He also reflects upon the overabundance of images made available by powerful search engines (such as Google Images), which allow one to see a large quantity of similar visual elements, densely grouped into a scrolling optical space (a web page). Vacuités refers to the visual layout of image collection programs and presents a series of paintings that underscore the incongruities created by mosaics of images displayed as thumbnails, including the stretching, squishing, poor image resolution, reframing, and cropping that online images are subjected to. The series of paintings entitled Lot, Amas, Attirail, responds to the devaluation of images that have been stripped of their specificity, and the trivialization of images that are viewed repeatedly.’’

DANIEL LANGEVIN lives and works in Montréal. His work have been shown at Centre Clark, B-312 and Parisian Laundry, as well as at the gallery that represents him, Galerie René Blouin. He obtained research and creation grants from Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and Canada Council for the Arts and also realised various public art commissions, notably at the Westmount Recreation Centre. His work is part of numerous private and public collections in Canada and United States.

Vacuités – Daniel Langevin

6 pages (7 colour reproductions)
English / French
ISBN : 978-1-926492-16-2
Galerie McClure, 2018
Available: McClure Gallery

Intervention: 31 Women Painters

Invited curator : Harold Klunder

Intervention: 31 Women Painters

Vernissage: Thursday February 1st, at 6 pm
Exhibition: February 2 to 24, 2018
Conference: Friday February 2nd at 7 pm

The McClure Gallery is honoured to present the exhibition Intervention: 31 Women Painters, curated by well-known Canadian artist, Harold Klunder. As the gallery’s 2018 invited guest curator, Klunder has assembled small-format works by Canadian painters whose careers collectively span six decades; hanging together in one space, they highlight just how creatively and imaginatively women have lent their voices to the continued reinvention of painting as a discipline relevant to our times.

The exhibition is, in Klunder’s view, an exploration, an intervention: “I reached out to women artists who I know to be particularly engaged in the process of painting. The works are small because I wanted to include as many artists as possible. This show is an invitation to these painters to use the exhibition and the space to intervene with their own works and alongside the works of the other contributing artists. I do not see myself as a curator, but rather as a painter who can act as a facilitator, in this case, through access to a shared space. The outcome is to be determined by the artists. Each artist was asked to select their own work for the show, hopefully creating a random freedom that is not usually tolerated in exhibitions. The works will belong together through their diversity and approach to materials. The outcome will be determined by the amalgamation of 31 narratives.”

The participating artists represent a diversity of voices; they include well-known artists as well as those less celebrated but whose artistic output Klunder admires for its authenticity and inventive use of paint. Such an approach aligns well with the Centre’s mandate of accessibility and inclusivity in the teaching and exhibiting of art. The participating artists are: Ann Beam, Kathryn Bemrose, Sarah Cale, Barbara Caruso, Catherine Carmichael, Gathie Falk, Nika Fontaine, Cameron Forbes, Sybil Goldstein, Eliza Griffiths, Libby Hague, Susanna Heller, Gail Hutchison, Rae Johnson, Fiona Kinsella, Dorothy Knowles, Wanda Koop, Rita Letendre, Medrie MacPhee, Natasha Martel, Doris McCarthy, Christiane Pflug, Ciara Phillips, Annie Pootoogook, Louise Robert, Gina Rorai, Janet Stanley, Françoise Sullivan, Marion Wagschal, Diane Whitehouse, and Joyce Wieland.

Ito Laïla Le François Toi et ta splendide laideur

Ito Laïla Le François

Vernissage: Thursday March 1st, at 6 pm
Exhibition: March 2 to 24, 2018
Artist’s Talk: Thursday March 8, at 7 pm

The McClure Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Toi et ta splendide laideur by artist Ito Laïla Le François. Territory, violence, body image, and human incongruity are notions that she explores through a variety of mediums: glass, wood, ceramic, metal, leather, and textile. Leaving a poetic impression, her sculptures attempt to renew the links between a community and its land.

Toi et ta splendide laideur proposes hybrid sculptures, half-human bodies and half-landscapes that borrow from both craft and fine art. Decompartmentalizing these practices, the artist puts forth strong works, as much symbolic as they are technically actualised. Composed of glass, ceramic, wood, and textile, her large-format sculptures offer a poetic ensemble, where suffering stands alongside the sublime. Ito Laïla Le François considers herself nomadic and attempts to assess the state of the world through the experience of moving across the Earth. For the artist, we collectively treat the land as we treat our own bodies: in an abusive and self-destructive manner. This resulting harm is at the heart of her creations. Through the juxtaposition of human or animal anatomy over industrial landscapes implanted in nature, the artist attempts to express the unfailing link between humans and the spaces they inhabit. In Toi et ta splendide laideur, these themes become entrances to explore human incongruity and open the pathway to our own vulnerability.

Immersed in a strange universe, the visitor discovers works that are at times disturbing, because they scream of truth, yet are beautiful, testifying to the artist’s mastery of technique. Each work incites individual and collective questioning.

ITO LAÏLA LE FRANÇOIS lives and works in Saint-Narcisse de Rimouski. After pursuing college education in art and craft techniques, she began a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts at Concordia University in 2013. Since then, her work has been the subject of several solo and group exhibitions all over Quebec (including Montreal, Quebec City, Rimouski, Step-Îles, Baie Comeau) as well as in Toronto. She is also the recipient of various prizes, grants, and distinctions including the prestigious 2015 RBC Grant for Emerging Artists in glass art.

Annual Student Exhibition

Vernissage: Thursday March 29, at 6 pm
Exhibition: March 30 to April 21, 2018

Students registered in the winter session of the Centre’s School of Art are invited to exhibit their work. The exhibition includes a variety of media and gives students the opportunity to exhibit in the context of a professional gallery. It’s also a chance to appreciate the great diversity of creative activity that takes place at the Centre.

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