Extreme Painting: Stretch


Extreme Painting: Stretch
Jul 11 – Jul 28, 2013

Galerie D’Este is proud to present Stretch, a group exhibition of works by painters Paul Bourgault, Pierre-Yves Girard and Andy Curlowe as part of the Extreme Painting summer art event. These artists’ approaches to painting are diverse, but each privileges the painted surface over the illusions of a space beyond. The tension in the stretched canvas is manipulated, accentuated and broken by these artists’ playful interventions.

Paul Bourgault is concerned foremost with the history of painting as a series of innovations brought about by technical, ideological and iconographic shifts. He is interested in how form and colour coexist materially with the Idea: the mental conception of an image, and feels that in this push-and-pull resides the languages and dialects of painting. The resulting paintings mix Renaissance tropes with wildlife, plants, hard-edge geometric abstraction and Pop Art references in chaotic but always composed canvases. Bourgault’s work is featured in several major collections, such as Loto-Québec, Cirque du soleil and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec’s CPOA collection.

The glassy surfaces of Pierre-Yves Girard’s paintings belie the layers of oil paint he applies to create billowing organic forms and otherworldly landscapes. The manipulation of paint on this surface and the artist’s incorporation of chance and respect for his material together create unsettling illusions of depth and space. The artist’s use of unorthodox mark-making materials explores the limits of painting, and his visual vocabulary is entirely without precedent. In 2005, Girard was named the Quebec regional winner of the Bank of Montreal’s national First Art! contest. His work now features in their collection.

Andy Curlowe’s fragmented landscapes bring together rigid structures, elements of collage and a strong sense of colour to take advantage of both pictorial space and the surface of the canvas. The effect of human intervention in the landscape in cycles of construction, development and decay are expressed metaphorically as Curlowe celebrates both the idealism of these attempts at shaping our surroundings, and the reassuringly fast breakdown of these structures by natural effects of erosion and disintegration.