Michelle Bui : Affinités poreuses

14 September - 28 October 2023

McBride Contemporain is proud to announce the two-part presentation of the new body of work by represented artist Michelle Bui. Gathered under the title Affinités poreuses, this series will first be presented in a solo booth at the inaugural edition of PHOTOFAIRS New York, at the Javits Center from September 8th to 10th. It will be then be immediately followed by the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, which will officially open to the public on Thursday, September 14th.

In this body of work, the artist continues to create and find eccentric forms of beauty in discarded objects, surfaces and textures that are often experienced as banal and potentially are overlooked. Her ability to do this within the genre of still-life, with strong resemblance and reference to the seemingly inimical ones of all-over and lyrical abstraction, is seductive and compelling certainly, but it is also recuperative. In both emotional and political senses, this project proposes a stance within the mainstream culture in which we globally exist, that encourages a harmonized awareness towards overconsumption and a kind of critically self-aware acceptance of the economic models that compel it. Bui emphasizes the potential redemption that poetic and aesthetic meaning can bring to our experience of the bewildering and challenging world of objects and experiences around us. Environmental and economic anxieties are subtly invoked by a juxtaposition of that which both is a part of our materialist culture, as well as that which potentially cannot be absorbed and assimilated by it.

Michelle Bui has simplified the “drawing” element in these photos from previous ones, and focused the logic of her compositions in a more solid way than ever, providing a powerful gestalt to the viewer. Every angle and moment in these pictures is filled with a multivalent experience. They are certainly a series, and aspects of what they do can only be seen in installation and in concert, but they are also each in their turn exceptional photos as individual works, no two are at all alike after a moment of encountering them. More similar to an expressive abstract painter than to any still-life photographer, Bui has brought forth a visceral experiment in seeing, one that is richly rewarding to catch a glimpse of.

Michelle Bui is a Montreal-based artist whose practice includes photography, sculpture and installation. Recent solo exhibitions include Naked Excess, Esker Foundation, Calgary (2022); Mutable Matter, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2022); Spilled Plenitude, Franz Kaka, Toronto (2020); Centerfold, Parisian Laundry, Montreal (2019); Plein Soleil, Circa, Montreal (2019); Pool of Plenty, Galerie de l’UQAM, Montreal (2018). Bui completed her MA at Université du Québec à Montréal and at Beaux-arts de Paris, and her BFA at Concordia University. Her work is included in numerous collections, including those of the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, the City of Montreal, Hydro-Québec, RBC Art Collection, Scotiabank and TD Bank. She was the recipient of the 2022 Prix Pierre Ayot.

This exhibition is part of the satellite programming for the MOMENTA Biennale de l'image.


The artist would like to thank the City of Montreal, as well as AGAC for their support.

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