This Exhibition presents new and undiscovered works by four abstract painters living and working in Montreal. Among them, there is a wide divergence in age and in exposure to the public. Some are pretty new to the scene, others have been around for a while. What they share is a dedication to the project of painting – specifically to the power of visual abstraction and pure creativity. These are artists who deserve an audience because they are doing what only they can do, and they do it well. What they do may be as weird as it is fun; as personal as it is moving. I hope that you are as touched and as excited by it as I am.
Abstraction in painting, the Modern phenomenon as we know it, is more than one hundred years old now; and as air-born and free-falling as it has been at times, it is rooted in the past. The cycles of subversion and revolution that formed successive movements during this time have stretched out into the mindscape of the art-world to form a tree – the leaves of which appear to cover every inch of once visible sky. Chopping at limbs and pruning branches has only ever promoted more growth. Seedlings form. Under-bush and vines, weeds and mosses thrive in this environment; nests appear – birds and critters flit about, while carnivores lurk, and may swoop in from nowhere. The mindscape of abstract painting is a dense jungle now. Movement is no longer what it used to be, reaching into clear spaces is a thing of the past. But there is plenty of motion…
Abstract painting was born in the age of mechanical production, and grew up fast in a world of industrial-scale everything. Now, our age of automation – morphing as it has into the age of digital-this and cyber-that – still has a place, and a need, for abstract painting.
L’Abstraction Now brings together four Montreal practitioners of abstraction who are like unto monks with their dedication to preserve a low-tech methodology and their determination to produce iterations of qualities that only painting can achieve. Apparently, it is no longer a stretch to talk about discipline and tradition…
The results are their visions and conceptions made more real than anything manufactured, more substantial than anything uploaded, hash-tagged or tweeted. As real as anything can be, and more real than ordinary things; their works are special enough that we may want to talk about a kind of devotion. But that’s for you to decide. I, for one have already made up my mind on that front.