Raymond Lavoie
Salle des maquettes (version 2)

1995

Acrylic on canvas (18 elements of variable dimension)
660 x 274 cm (dimensions of the ensemble)
2007.7.1-18
Gift of the artist

This work is part of a corpus of Raymond Lavoie’s output in which the artist has taken elements of figurative painting – people, architectural and sculptural details – and transplanted them into an essentially abstract pictorial space. Instead of relying on the persuasive impact of imitation, illusionism, or realistic representation, the components of this piece play with the paradoxical nature of the canvas surfaces as a presence unto themselves. Under a thin wash of colour, we see landscapes, still lives, and various pieces of furniture. In Salle de maquettes, colour is used to determine the perimeters of pictorial space, draped like a thin semi-transparent veil simultaneously revealing and concealing the figurative motifs beneath. The ostensibly real subjects conveyed by the paintings give way to a spectral impression of what is depicted; here, Lavoie’s use of the colour wash on his canvases causes the viewer to attend even more closely to the barely visible, veiled images. The components of this piece humour the viewer’s desire to focus on the meaning of a given object in spite of the many screens that stand between us and the motifs shown. The veils of colour thereby become revelatory mechanisms, rather than obstacles to meaning-making.

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