2017_Authier2_gMelanie Authier, Ground Seeker, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 152.4 x 182.9 cm. Courtesy of Georgia Scherman Projects.

Melanie Authier. Contrarieties & Counterpoints

Curator: Robert Enright

October 24 - December 9, 2017
Opening: Monday, October 23, 5:30 p.m.

Exhibition organized and circulated by Thames Art Gallery (Chatham, Ontario)

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Galerie de l’UQAM dives into the lively energy of painting with the solo exhibition Melanie Authier. Contrarieties & Counterpoints. Led by curator and art critic Robert Enright, the exhibition brings together recent works by the artist that Galerie de l’UQAM’s public was able to discover in the flagship exhibition The Painting Project (2013). With Contrarieties & Counterpoints, the artist shows paintings that are both dynamic and delicate, while revisiting the contradictory legacies of pictorial practice.

The exhibition

The visually rich spaces in artist Melanie Authier’s paintings remind us that we are still negotiating a myriad of questions when we consider art after Modernism. For Authier, paintings are not simply discrete aesthetic objects. They exist within an expanded set of relations.

Authier’s paintings invoke language that is associated with Modernist Abstraction. Her approach has also been likened to Baroque, for the empathetic effects elicited by her technique. The intermingling of styles in each painting engenders a liminal quality that is at once intelligible yet elusive. In this exhibition of recent work on canvas and paper, we can appreciate the contrasting approaches to contemporary painting that are being deployed by the artist. With each work, Authier sets up a problem so that she can “produce a response to it that is unexpected.”

I believe my work references and, at times, wrestles with the after-burn of painting’s past, art history with a capital “A.” It also works to carve out a space for itself in current dialogues and continues to look at painting’s potential. So my preoccupying question is, “Where do we go from here?”

- Melanie Authier, 2015

Gendered readings of painterly practices, for example, are part of the complex discourses that Authier is acutely aware she must negotiate. This artist also plays with competing histories of style—hard-edge and gestural abstraction—and subverts them as expertly as she manipulates acrylics or watercolours and inks upon her surface of choice. The challenges posed by freighted histories of painterly practice are ones that Authier addresses head on and with a flourish.

The artist

Melanie Authier was born in 1980 in Montréal. She received a BFA from Concordia University, Montréal (2002) and an MFA from the University of Guelph (2006). Authier has exhibited across the country, notably in the exhibition Builders: Canadian Biennial at the National Gallery of Canada. She presented several solo exhibitions, including Grisailles at Rodman Hall Art Centre, Brock University (St. Catharines, 2013–14), Vault/Shield/Buttress/Basin at the Anna Leonowens Gallery (Halifax, 2013) and Jostling Pictorial Oppositions at Georgia Scherman Projects (Toronto, 2013).  Her work was also part of many group shows such as The Tremendous Elusive: Emily Carr and the Canadian Imagery at Canada Gallery, Canada House (London, United Kingdom, 2016), Young Canadian Painters at Idea Exchange (Cambridge, 2014), The Painting Project. A Snapshot of Painting in Canada at Galerie de l’UQAM (Montréal, 2013), and Four Ottawa Painters at Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa, 2010–11). Authier is the also the recipient of numerous scholarships and distinctions, such as the Honourable Mention Prize for the 2007 RBC Painting Competition. Authier's artwork is part of several national and international collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, Canada House and Global Affairs Canada. She is represented by Georgia Scherman Projects, Toronto.  She currently lives in Val-des-Monts (Québec).
melanieauthier.com

The curator

Robert Enright is an award-winning writer, lecturer and curator. Since 2004 he has taught in the Graduate Program in the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph, where he is the University Research Professor in Art Theory and Criticism. He has over 35 years of experience as a cultural journalist in print, radio and television. For that entire period, he has been associated with the arts magazine Border Crossings, where he has published over 200 interviews with leading Canadian, American and European artists. In 2005 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2012 he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2016 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Winnipeg.

Public activities

Guided tours of the exhibition for groups
Available anytime.
Reservations required with Philippe Dumaine
514 987-3000, ext 3280, or dumaine_allard.philippe@uqam.ca

Guided tour of the exhibition with artist Melanie Authier and art historian Julie Bélisle
Part of the series L’art observe
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Free admission

Join artist Melanie Authier and art historian Julie Bélisle for a tour of Contrarieties & Counterpoints. This informal guided tour will allow you to better understand the amplitude of the artist’s pictorial practice. Authier and Bélisle will be able to build on their ongoing relationship, as Julie Bélisle was the curator of The Painting Project (2013), Galerie de l’UQAM’s major group exhibition of Canadian paintings which included Melanie Authier’s work.

La peinture déplacée
Part of the series L’œil écoute
Saturday, November 25, 2017
4 p.m.
Galerie de l’UQAM
In French
Free admission

Texts: Nicole Brossard, Paul-Émile Borduas, Anne Hébert, Agnes Martin, Monique Régimbald-Zeiber
Readers: Christiane Pasquier, Marie Eykel
Animation: Marie-Andrée Lamontagne
Text curation: Louise Déry

Autumn 2017 marks the return of Galerie de l’UQAM’s L’ œil écoute series. The event from L’ œil écoute take the form of public readings of outstanding texts, selected specifically for the dialogues they establish with the works presented at the Galerie.

Support provided by

This exhibition has been organized by the Thames Art Gallery (Chatham, Ontario) in partnership with the Ottawa Art Gallery (Ottawa, Ontario), Art Gallery of Guelph (Guelph, Ontario), Kenderdine Art Gallery (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), Galerie de I’UQAM (Montréal, Québec), MSVU Art Gallery (Halifax, Nova Scotia), and the Musée régional de Rimouski (Rimouski, Quebec) with funding from the Ontario Arts Council’s Ontario, National and International Touring programs.

 

2017_Authier_appuis

2017_Scenna2_gCarolyne Scenna, Papier mâché, 2017, photomontage, still from the J’aurais fait mieux slide

Carolyne Scenna. I’m Worse at What I Do Best and for This Gift I Feel Blessed

Graduating master's student in visual and media arts (MFA), UQAM

October 24 - December 9, 2017
Opening: Monday, October 23, 5:30 p.m.

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Galerie de l’UQAM presents I’m Worse at What I Do Best and for This Gift I Feel Blessed by Carolyne Scenna, graduating master student in visual and media arts at UQAM. The exhibition presents an installation in which the artist obsessively recomposes and revisits her photographic archives. A space bounded by white velvet curtains, lo-fi video projections and a model of a volcano form a route where spectators are invited to discover an assemblage of hybrid images through various projection devices.

The exhibition

The phrase “I’m the worst at what I do best and for this gift I feel blessed” is taken from Nirvana’s song Smells Like Teen Spirit, an iconic hit of the early 1990s. At first glance, the song’s lyrics form a contradictory accumulation of strange and familiar images that do not offer any obvious meaning. As an almost instantaneously mythical symbol of a generation, the song is now the reflection of a confused reality where adolescence and fame converse and converge until they become indistinct. For Carolyne Scenna, this “magma” emerging from the recuperation of cultural productions by mass culture forms an image. The artist appropriates the adolescent metaphor for its subversive potential, and rejects in passing any desire to do things right.

The exhibition features a visual mixtape composed of interlinked fades, overlapping photomontages and their mise en abyme in the gallery’s space. Animations realized from numerous computer screencasts are projected on different surfaces in the gallery in order to explore the constructed nature of situations and environments that the artist documents and accumulates. This process leads to a certain detachment from reality, a dematerialization that allows the artist to put the precarious nature of image making and its pre-eminence in everyday life to the test.

The artist

Carolyne Scenna is a multidisciplinary artist from Montreal. Working with photography, lo-fi video and installation, she develops a practice of image re-composition that explores its plastic and polysemic potentials. The processes of image materialization she implements in her research are pretexts for broader critical reflections on individual commitment to image making in the era of data digitization and its increased circulation. Fearless of ambiguity, she has presented since 2011 works that blend her name with that of her collective (which she wants to keep quiet about) in a few artist-run centres and galleries in Montreal (Parisian Laundry, Les Territoires, Arprim, Clark, Art mûr) and during various events (OFFTA, Festival du Jamais lu, Nuit Blanche à Montréal, Chromatic). I’m Worse at What I Do Best and for This Gift I Feel Blessed is her very first solo exhibition.
carolynescenna.com

Public activities

Guided tour of the exhibition for groups
Available anytime.
Reservations required with Philippe Dumaine, 514 987-3000, ext. 3280, or dumaine_allard.philippe@uqam.ca

Artist talk: Carolyne Scenna
November 21, 2017, 12:45 p.m.
Part of the series L’art observe
Galerie de l’UQAM
In French
Free admission

Support provided by

CCFA_BW_black_96_f          Calq_noir



Canada Council for the Arts Canada Council for the Arts

GALERIE DE L’UQAM

Université du Québec à Montréal
1400, Rue Berri, Pavillon Judith-Jasmin, Local J-R 120
Montréal, Québec
Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.
Free admission