Nov 7 – Nov 24, 2013

Galerie D’Este is proud to present Petite mort - grande mort, Paul Bourgault’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery and the first in which the artist’s paintings contain no photographic references. The artist was inspired to take this step after reading David Hockney’s writings on the use of lenses by painters since the Renaissance and its influence on our perception of the visual world, an influence which persists today.

In this new series, Bourgault stages himself as a naïve artist, an outsider. Playing the part of an early modernist, he discarded from his studio anything having to do with the photographic image and technical virtuosity. This personnage he created mapped out the flow of energy from bodies meeting, blending into one and other, in friendship and love to bring warmth and grit to Hard-Edge painting.

However different the new work may seem to be at first glance, these new paintings are structurally, thematically, and chromatically in continuity with the concerns and explorations that have informed Bourgault’s image-making since the beginning. He has not abandoned figuration, but rather has gone in the direction of designo, by privileging line and mental concept.

The emphasis on tight composition and the use of saturated colors for which the artist is known is brought to the fore in these rhythmic alternations that leave some seams showing, avoiding overt precision or coldness.

Born in Quebec in 1967, Paul Bourgault is a self-taught artist currently living and working in Montreal. Recently, Bourgault’s work has been shown in a solo presentation at Art Toronto in 2012 and in a group exhibition at Scope NY in New York City organized by the Contemporary Art Galleries Association (AGAC). The artist’s works feature in numerous public and private collections, including the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec’s CPOA collection. The artist can be found in his Mile-End studio daily.