Galerie Deux Poissons is delighted to announce Bouchard & Daigneault, an exhibition featuring the work of the Montreal-based painters Sylvie Bouchard and Michel Daigneault. Both are artists at the senior career level, and long standing and contributing members of Montreal’s artist community. They have in common a personal, and life-long commitment to the advancement of contemporary painting practice, and a tendency to continually refresh the basic elements of their work, always seeking within their own strongly individual styles to expand, to learn and to improve. This exhibition seeks to showcase the exceptional quality of both artists’ works, as well as to create a dialogue between them for the first time, allowing both overt and perhaps even more significantly, more subtle kinds of mutual elements to illuminate the art of the other.
Sylvie Bouchard creates and explores an odd and fascinating world of dreamlike symbols and scenarios, in which characters, animals, objects and places gradually phase into existence. Her style draws as much on the western traditions of theatre and theatricality as it does on the fine art movements of symbolism, surrealism and new image painting. Formally, she employs colour primarily in a tonal manner, but manages to coax very strong resonances out from a range of chromatic greys, as well as her occasional, strategic uses of primary and secondary colours. She slowly and intuitively develops scenes of quietly intense, darkly poetic manner and meaning, in which a baffling mood prevails. The work is seductive and inviting, but also leaves us somehow unmoored and questioning, lost in an estranged wilderness of the mind.
Michel Daigneault’s practice is based in formalist abstraction, but moves outwards from there, permitting and rigorously examining a multitude of approaches to the depiction of an abstract motif. He has absorbed multiple art historical strands into his manner, staying true to the dominance of the flat surface and shallow pictorial space of formalism, while opening his visual purview up to a world of suggestive possibilities. Visually engrossing and powerful effects are generated by incorporating figments and fragments of landscape and figural characteristics, which are then folded back into non-objective territory. The resulting tableaux are rich and sensitive in surface, form and colour, and they contain and express an elegant atmosphere of self-referential content.