2019 L'ONDE D'UNE PIERRE
Fonderie Darling de Montréal & Casino Luxembourg
L’ONDE D’UNE PIERRE
8 février au 16 mars 2019
2019 © Tony Hafkenscheid
In her earlier work, Marie-Claire Blais harnessed the affective character of light to articulate space in her paintings. More recently, a residency in Rome spent studying ancient ruins and the 18th century etchings of Giambatista Piranesi has inspired the artist to focus more acutely on the inherent pliability of the material surface itself in defining space. +
Piranesi is best known for his Carceri series; architectural etchings of imaginary prisons replete with labyrinthine structures and seemingly infinite passageways. Trained as an architect, Blais was drawn to this subterranean world characterized by stairs, arches and vaulted ceilings. Tracing these forms on to the surfaces of burlap, Blais makes delicate incisions to reveal openings, build volume and allow gravity to dictate shape through folds and creases. Like Piranesi’s labyrinths, the gaze is drawn into a cascade of successive spaces, each compelling the viewer to chart a pathway to the next.
Throughout this new series the artist’s hand remains ever present. Whether through the manipulation of material or the gentle application of pigment, traces of Blais’ touch abound. In this way her abstractions are rooted in the real, anchoring perception in lived experience, even as the mind is destined to wander.