“The scale of things”: see the tree and its forest

«L’échelle des choses»: voir l’arbre et sa forêt

Photo: Guy L’heureux
Installation view “The scale of things” with Jérôme Bouchard and Mathieu Gaudet

See it up close reveals many things, it is said. The opposite is also true : we must get away in order to perceive a whole, to understand it better. In short, to speak of the distance between the viewer and a work of art is a little unusual.

The work in the painting of Jerome Bouchard and sculpture by Mathieu Gaudet mull over these concepts. Yet, rarely an exhibition in the private gallery was also expected that The scale of things. It is under this title that the Galleries Bellemare Lambert have met two of their artists.

It must be said that the expo arrives from Japan, where it was presented in the fall. There is nothing exceptional to this fact, especially as it is at the embassy of Canada in Tokyo that it has taken place. The home of canadian diplomacy was in the habit to welcome and support artists in quebec.

Still, if the Galleries Bellemare Lambert brought the project in Montreal, it is that they saw take a solid shot. This is the case. It should be noted that it is not a question of two solos (although…), but a single expo. The works of the one and the other, intertwine, live in two rooms and raise the age-old question : is it closer to or further away works ? There is no right answer. Necessary to be placed far and near. What are the relations between the two experiences, reports of scale and perception, that make sense. As in the paintings of Jérôme Bouchard as in the sculptures of Mathieu Gaudet.

But there are more to these games between a whole and its details. The exploration of materials, redefinition of the genre landscape, and the round-trip between the plane and the volume, or between the 2D and the 3D, animate The scale of things.

On the courtyard side of industrial

On five bodies of work exhibited (three of Bouchard, four of Gaudet), one is virtually new. This is a series being carried out in Belgium by the artist, when the artist is established in 2018. Seemingly abstract, the paintings of Jérôme Bouchard are nevertheless real. They are the translation of scientific data related to the topography of a place.

The work takes various steps, including, paradoxically, that is the removal of the material once applied on the canvas. It is at least as well as Bouchard proceeds from the centre to the south, which was revealed in 2011. For the series of 2018, he has swapped his usual tools (knife, stencils, etc) compared to the wet laser. It gets infinite small holes, almost like the pores of the skin. Mechanically, the transaction signals the end of manual labour, described also as “the removal of the gesture” — these are the words of the artist.

The choice of the machine is not free, as it responds to the context of creation. In his now life belgian, Cork, Jérôme Bouchard comes next to a former industrial site. The translation of the landscape into painterly abstraction is in fact the echo, in several respects.

The use of the “belgian linen” as the work surface is already a blink of an eye. There is also suggestion of a drawing hidden, perceptible to the favour of a tint to acrylic applied to the back of the canvas (a kind of reverse of reality). They are like the vestiges industry that is dogged by the quebec artist, of the spoil heaps are still present and yet invisible to the local population.

Side wood

The block cardboard, solid unit that is doing the work Without a title (Reticolato) Mathieu Gaudet, is enriched in the close proximity with the paintings of his colleague. Striated, the surface lets the light to interfere and reveal what is imperceptible. The tree that hides the forest, or close to it.

Of course, one must take a step back and realize that inside is a strange object, of organic form, but the texture is reflective and metallic. This staging is optical, however, depends to a demanding job and specific to the material. The art of Gaudet relies on distortions, breaks with the standards.

The different works he exhibited, including a drawing of the series Arcs, open to multiple perspectives. The recent variant of Pa(ï)wise, series of works with the poplar wood that Mathieu Gaudet developing for some time, ” remarks on a redefinition of the horizon.

The thick layer of colour applied over the top of the poplar, the diversity of tonal, subtle fragmentation (unless it is the subtle unity of three elements)… Pa(ï)wise grey #4270 is not a representation of fixed reality, only a variable. An interpretation of the data. A translation of the gap between an object and its analysis.

See near or far modifies necessarily the understanding of a thing, regardless of its nature. It is a discourse often heard, but that takes more of a meaning in the meeting Bouchard-Gaudet.

The scale of things

Jérôme Bouchard and Mathieu Gaudet. Galleries Bellemare Lambert, 372, rue Sainte-Catherine West, until the 6th of April.