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Marie-Claire Blais

Ligne présente, vidéo 4K, 7:10min

Ligne présente, vidéo 4K, 7:10min


March 9 - June 9



Marie-Claire Blais  (b. 1974, Lévis) is a leading light of contemporary art in Montreal, yet until now her work has not been presented in a major Canadian museum.  Blais extends the language of abstraction into the contemporary movement, painting on canvas and then cutting, shredding and unraveling the painting surface to produce subtle works that hover between sculpture and painting. 

Working in the tradition of abstraction pioneered by Françoise Sullivan, Blais walks in her footsteps, updating the vocabularies of abstraction for the next generation. Like Sullivan, Blais works in many media, from works on paper to canvases that are painted and often cut and draped on the wall, as well as free-standing sculpture. The delicacy, intelligence and sophistication of her work mark her as a leader of the vanguard of Quebec and Canadian art.

The exhibition is organised by Guest Curator Jessica Bradley, formerly curator of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Marie-Claire Blais,  Être la porte qui s’ouvre 11 , 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 203 x 330 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie René Blouin

Marie-Claire Blais, Être la porte qui s’ouvre 11, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 203 x 330 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie René Blouin


Marie-Claire Blais



Opening Reception :

Friday, February 8th, 7 - 9PM. Artist in attendance

The gallery is located at 3044 Dundas St. W, just west of High Park Avenue in the Junction.

Wednesday to Saturday: 11am - 6pm
or by appointment

L'onde d'une pierre
Marie-Claire Blais
February 8 - March 16, 2019

Opening Reception:
Friday, February 8th, 7 - 9PM. Artist in attendance

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.

Marie-Claire Blais (b. Levis, QC, 1974) lives and works in Montreal. Blais studied architecture at the University of Montreal before concentrating full-time on her visual arts practice. Her work spans a range of media to activate the various ways in which we understand forms and space, and organize them in our perceptual memory. Her work has been presented in Canada and internationally, most notably at Centre culturel canadien (Paris, 2017), the British School at Rome (Rome, 2018), the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (Montréal, 2017; 2015), Diaz Contemporary (Toronto, 2016) and at Fondation Guido Molinari (Montreal, 2013). Marie-Claire Blais is represented by Galerie René Blouin in Montréal.

An upcoming solo retrospective at the McMichael Art Gallery, curated by Jessica Bradley, will open March 8th. 
Her work appears courtesy of Galerie René Blouin in Montréal. The artist is grateful to the Art Council of Canada and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for their support.


Marie-Claire Blais

Casino du Luxembourg - Forum d’art contemporain 19 janvier au 7 avril 2019

Commissaire : Caroline Andrieux


ARTISTES : Fortner Anderson (QC), Steve Bates (QC), Marie-Claire Blais (QC), Olivia Boudreau (QC), Claude Closky (FR), Marie Cool Fabio Balducci (FR / IT), Alexandre David (QC), Adriana Disman (QC), Kitty Kraus (DE), Stéphane La Rue (QC), Kelly Mark (ON), János Sugár (HUN).


Marie-Claire Blais

Centre culturel canadien à Paris, 28 novembre au 19 janvier 2018

Commissaire : Catherine Bédard


"Entrouvrir, entrevoir, enclore s’organise autour de deux séries de tableaux, entre lesquelles se développe d’une part une réflexion sur le temps et l’espace du mouvement ainsi que la nécessité de sa fin, et d’autre part la mise en perspective d’une mémoire de la modernité _ des fresques bleues et roses des précurseurs de la perspective italienne aux grilles modernistes de l’art américain."