Fictional Worlds groups figurative approaches with content either symbolic or inspired by comic strips, the media, illustration or, more recently, computer-generated imagery. Artists draw on the vast store of globally circulating images and narratives, aiming to renew their interpretation by reinventing their motifs, particularly for those pertaining to identify and history.
Fictional Worlds groups figurative approaches with content either symbolic or inspired by comic strips, the media, illustration or, more recently, computer-generated imagery. Artists draw on the vast store of globally circulating images and narratives, aiming to renew their interpretation by reinventing their motifs, particularly for those pertaining to identify and history.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Hugo Bergeron, landscape, drip painting, hard-edge

Photo: Guy L’Heureux Courtesy Galerie Graff, Montreal

Hugo Bergeron
2011
Acrylic on canvas
183 x 244 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Hugo Bergeron gives form to the landscapes of his imagination in order to explore the components of painting. In his works, chaotic, hallucinatory nature combines with complex architectures to create spaces of startling construction. The painting surface abounds with motifs but also with methods, including hard-edge, Abstract Expressionist, trompe l’oeil and even drip painting techniques. Synopsis 3 presents a world in precarious equilibrium. The frame of a multi-story building perches on the edge of a platform, its interior brightened with blocks of flat colour delineated by the structural grid, which becomes a purely formal motif. The different planes that make up the image are layers of space – pools, basement, concrete pillars, body of water, cloud-charged sky. The artist plays on the thin line that separates the formal from the figurative, mixing the two to generate pictorial effects and contrasts.
Hugo Bergeron gives form to the landscapes of his imagination in order to explore the components of painting. In his works, chaotic, hallucinatory nature combines with complex architectures to create spaces of startling construction. The painting surface abounds with motifs but also with methods, including hard-edge, Abstract Expressionist, trompe l’oeil and even drip painting techniques. Synopsis 3 presents a world in precarious equilibrium. The frame of a multi-story building perches on the edge of a platform, its interior brightened with blocks of flat colour delineated by the structural grid, which becomes a purely formal motif. The different planes that make up the image are layers of space – pools, basement, concrete pillars, body of water, cloud-charged sky. The artist plays on the thin line that separates the formal from the figurative, mixing the two to generate pictorial effects and contrasts.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Louis-Philippe Côté, oil on canvas, 2010-2011, appropriation, media,

Photo: Louis-Philippe Côté Courtesy Galerie Simon Blais, Montreal

Louis-Philippe Côté
2010 - 2011
Oil on linen canvas
265 x 330 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Porno AM depicts a hypothetical scenario, an extreme situation that arouses a sense of the worst. The protagonists, their anonymous faces masked or hidden by grey blotches, appear to be cut off from the world. In the layered planes of oil paint, humanity seems to have shifted into a parallel reality. Searching for snatches of actual violence, Louis-Philippe Côté accumulates and appropriates fragments of images from magazines, books, newspapers and the Internet. He then manipulates and juxtaposes these heterogeneous elements, from diverse places and times, to create scenes of latent disarray. This work is part of the Schizo-système project, an ongoing series the artist has been developing since 2007 around issues of virtualization, automation and robotization.
Porno AM depicts a hypothetical scenario, an extreme situation that arouses a sense of the worst. The protagonists, their anonymous faces masked or hidden by grey blotches, appear to be cut off from the world. In the layered planes of oil paint, humanity seems to have shifted into a parallel reality. Searching for snatches of actual violence, Louis-Philippe Côté accumulates and appropriates fragments of images from magazines, books, newspapers and the Internet. He then manipulates and juxtaposes these heterogeneous elements, from diverse places and times, to create scenes of latent disarray. This work is part of the Schizo-système project, an ongoing series the artist has been developing since 2007 around issues of virtualization, automation and robotization.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Mario Doucette, past Acadie, cultural identity, colonization, assimilisation

Photo: Marc Grandmaison Courtesy the artist

Mario Doucette
2011
Pastel, ink, pencil and acrylic on wood panel
76 x 122 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


For some artists, painting is a place of resistance. This is evident in the works of Mario Doucette’s series Bagarres, which deal with themes surrounding colonization and assimilation. As the title indicates, the series incorporates elements of mythology related to cultural identity and the history of the country’s conflicts, specifically those concerning the warring past of Acadia. L’embuscade de Charles Deschamps de Boishébert II [Melees] recounts how lions assisted the British in putting down Acadian resistance during the Great Expulsion. The protagonist of the narrative, Charles Deschamps de Boishébert II, was a French naval officer deployed in New France and best known for fighting with the Acadians against the invading forces. As the symbol of England’s imperial power, the lion represents the monarchy’s strength and supremacy. In introducing this painting, Doucette points out that the lion appears on the coat of arms of Canada and those of seven provinces, representing ties with the British monarchy, and that, somewhat ironically, it is even prominent on the New Brunswick flag.
For some artists, painting is a place of resistance. This is evident in the works of Mario Doucette’s series Bagarres, which deal with themes surrounding colonization and assimilation. As the title indicates, the series incorporates elements of mythology related to cultural identity and the history of the country’s conflicts, specifically those concerning the warring past of Acadia. L’embuscade de Charles Deschamps de Boishébert II [Melees] recounts how lions assisted the British in putting down Acadian resistance during the Great Expulsion. The protagonist of the narrative, Charles Deschamps de Boishébert II, was a French naval officer deployed in New France and best known for fighting with the Acadians against the invading forces. As the symbol of England’s imperial power, the lion represents the monarchy’s strength and supremacy. In introducing this painting, Doucette points out that the lion appears on the coat of arms of Canada and those of seven provinces, representing ties with the British monarchy, and that, somewhat ironically, it is even prominent on the New Brunswick flag.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Pierre Durette, citation, composition, 2010

Photo: David Choquette Courtesy Lacerte art contemporain, Montreal

Pierre Durette
2010
Acrylic and coloured pencil on paper
91 x 121 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Pierre Durette’s works teem with details. His compositions, worked on a white background, convey a sense of nowhere and swarm with figures engaged in various activities. Playing with the idea of scale, he peoples Parade 11 with more than a hundred miniature characters. As the title suggests, this painting centres on the theme of public display and contains numerous elements of pomp and circumstance. Ceremonial costumes from all eras intersect on the pictorial surface shared by Roman soldiers, medieval knights, Napoleonic generals, British guardsmen and American troops. There are also statesmen, flag bearers, photographers and, here and there, female nudes paired with virile personages. In the upper area of the composition, as a tiny detail, the artist quotes a famous painting in reproducing the figures of Édouard Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe (1863). At the centre, an enormous octopus riding in a convertible towers over the anachronistic fresco.
Pierre Durette’s works teem with details. His compositions, worked on a white background, convey a sense of nowhere and swarm with figures engaged in various activities. Playing with the idea of scale, he peoples Parade 11 with more than a hundred miniature characters. As the title suggests, this painting centres on the theme of public display and contains numerous elements of pomp and circumstance. Ceremonial costumes from all eras intersect on the pictorial surface shared by Roman soldiers, medieval knights, Napoleonic generals, British guardsmen and American troops. There are also statesmen, flag bearers, photographers and, here and there, female nudes paired with virile personages. In the upper area of the composition, as a tiny detail, the artist quotes a famous painting in reproducing the figures of Édouard Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe (1863). At the centre, an enormous octopus riding in a convertible towers over the anachronistic fresco.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Clint Griffin, 2009-2010, landscape, appropriation, collage

Photo: Clint Griffin Courtesy Galerie Trois Points, Montreal

Clint Griffin
2009 - 2010
Oil, acrylic, ink, photo, paper and staples on panel
183 x 183 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Clint Griffin works with other people’s rejects. He trolls garage sales for old paintings and fishes photographs from trash cans and uses the discarded materials to create original works of art. The appropriation of found objects allows him to combine, mix and superimpose images featuring multiple, disparate viewpoints, styles and subjects. Without suggesting a specific environment, the large-format Decking Around a Tree invites reflection on the landscape, a subject closely linked to Canadian identity. Artwork reproductions, photographs, acrylic and oil paints, ink, marker and pencil lines blanket the surface, emphasizing the eclectic assortment of spaces with their diversity. The use of collage and overlay produces a heterogeneous picture in which the motifs collide and the space breaks up.
Clint Griffin works with other people’s rejects. He trolls garage sales for old paintings and fishes photographs from trash cans and uses the discarded materials to create original works of art. The appropriation of found objects allows him to combine, mix and superimpose images featuring multiple, disparate viewpoints, styles and subjects. Without suggesting a specific environment, the large-format Decking Around a Tree invites reflection on the landscape, a subject closely linked to Canadian identity. Artwork reproductions, photographs, acrylic and oil paints, ink, marker and pencil lines blanket the surface, emphasizing the eclectic assortment of spaces with their diversity. The use of collage and overlay produces a heterogeneous picture in which the motifs collide and the space breaks up.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting fo Christine Major, acrylic on canvas, Cuisine rouge, Fauvism, Expressionism, palette

Photo: Guy L’Heureux Courtesy Galerie Donald Browne, Montreal

Christine Major
2010
Acrylic on canvas
132 x 198 cm
Collection d’œuvres d’art de l’UQAM [2012.11]
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Christine Major works with the motifs of confinement, survival and violence, particularly violence against women. Cuisine rouge depicts a scene that suggests something terrible has happened. A woman is sprawled on the floor, motionless, eyes open. Her pose brings to mind a paradoxical mixture of nymph-like splendour, Barbie doll features and Greek tragedy. The floor is scattered with food. It is a scene of shambles, abuse and suffering related to eating disorders. And the ordinary, domestic nature of the kitchen makes it clear that the struggle plays out on a daily basis. The palette of hard-edged, saturated colours and the Fauvist and Expressionist treatment charge the image with powerful evocative potential. Staged in the artist’s studio, the work pictures not only the represented space – the kitchen – but also the place where it was painted – the studio, seen in the foreground.
Christine Major works with the motifs of confinement, survival and violence, particularly violence against women. Cuisine rouge depicts a scene that suggests something terrible has happened. A woman is sprawled on the floor, motionless, eyes open. Her pose brings to mind a paradoxical mixture of nymph-like splendour, Barbie doll features and Greek tragedy. The floor is scattered with food. It is a scene of shambles, abuse and suffering related to eating disorders. And the ordinary, domestic nature of the kitchen makes it clear that the struggle plays out on a daily basis. The palette of hard-edged, saturated colours and the Fauvist and Expressionist treatment charge the image with powerful evocative potential. Staged in the artist’s studio, the work pictures not only the represented space – the kitchen – but also the place where it was painted – the studio, seen in the foreground.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Jason Mclean, acrylic, 2010, comic books, fanzines

Photo: Rob Nelson Courtesy Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto

Jason McLean
2010
Acrylic and ink on paper
56 x 76 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Jason McLean maps his environment in his art. From places he has lived to thoughts that cross his mind, anything and everything is apt to become a visual motif and part of a sort of encrypted language. It’s as if he were keeping a diary of his observations on the pictorial surface, assembling events from his personal life and elements encountered here and there. His paintings are heavy on drawing and typically feature graphically busy compositions influenced by the world of comic books and fanzines. Big in Canada is a prime example, a quirky map of the country that jumbles geography in an ironic commentary on the fact that success earned at home is no guarantee of similar recognition south of the border. The three red dots correspond to the Canadian cities where McLean has lived, and there are all sorts of inscrutable annotations. A fantastical logic is at work, creating a teeming profusion of allusions in an approach where everything merges and the elements morph into a face.
Jason McLean maps his environment in his art. From places he has lived to thoughts that cross his mind, anything and everything is apt to become a visual motif and part of a sort of encrypted language. It’s as if he were keeping a diary of his observations on the pictorial surface, assembling events from his personal life and elements encountered here and there. His paintings are heavy on drawing and typically feature graphically busy compositions influenced by the world of comic books and fanzines. Big in Canada is a prime example, a quirky map of the country that jumbles geography in an ironic commentary on the fact that success earned at home is no guarantee of similar recognition south of the border. The three red dots correspond to the Canadian cities where McLean has lived, and there are all sorts of inscrutable annotations. A fantastical logic is at work, creating a teeming profusion of allusions in an approach where everything merges and the elements morph into a face.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Sandra Meigs, acrylic, 2009, palette, monochrome

Photo: Stephen Fenn Courtesy Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto

Sandra Meigs
2009
Acrylic on canvas
305 x 277 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Go Down In depicts an interior at once domestic and psychological. Painted in fine lines on a monochrome grey background, the motifs and structural elements are repetitive and the colour palette restrained. An economy of means heightens the mystery of the place. The inviting yet disturbing perspective leads to a stairway whose destination is unclear. Just as the eye focuses on the small white dots inhabiting the tapestries, the image shifts and a multitude of gazes appear, all staring back at the viewer. Fanciful figures emerge startlingly in the architecture. Faces invade the wallpaper, the banister, the floor. The house seems to be haunted, and the concave floor is like a strange vortex. Sandra Meigs made this large-format painting after visiting the Sanford-Covell Villa Marina, a 19th-century mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, with a 35-foot-high entry hall decorated in Pompeian style. She was struck by the way the lavish central staircase served as a transitional space between the outside world and the privacy of the home.
Go Down In depicts an interior at once domestic and psychological. Painted in fine lines on a monochrome grey background, the motifs and structural elements are repetitive and the colour palette restrained. An economy of means heightens the mystery of the place. The inviting yet disturbing perspective leads to a stairway whose destination is unclear. Just as the eye focuses on the small white dots inhabiting the tapestries, the image shifts and a multitude of gazes appear, all staring back at the viewer. Fanciful figures emerge startlingly in the architecture. Faces invade the wallpaper, the banister, the floor. The house seems to be haunted, and the concave floor is like a strange vortex. Sandra Meigs made this large-format painting after visiting the Sanford-Covell Villa Marina, a 19th-century mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, with a 35-foot-high entry hall decorated in Pompeian style. She was struck by the way the lavish central staircase served as a transitional space between the outside world and the privacy of the home.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Chris Millar, acrylic, grotesque imaginary, comic books, 2011

Photo: Chris Millar, courtesy TrépanierBaer Gallery, Calgary

Chris Millar
2011
Acrylic on wood panel
21,6 x 21,6 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


The hallmark of Chris Millar’s art is excess, both of subject and of form. A grotesque imaginary world unfolds from one painting to the next, inviting viewers into a universe inspired by comic books, heavy metal music, video games, B movies and myriad elements of a fantastical, alternative pop culture. Every inch of surface teems with details and oddities in his dense compositions. Gutterballs (back cover), which serves to illustrate the jacket for an album of Millar’s experimental music, draws the eye into a futuristic bowling alley peopled with weird creatures and costumed characters. Pencils are poked into the stained panels of the suspended ceiling, from which a blue man wearing a skull on his head emerges, and the walls directly reference the abstract art of the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). Each element appears to have been chosen with great care, which further heightens the strangeness of the whole. But that is how Millar works: improvising on an initial idea, adding, appending and accumulating to create a wacky, surreal narrative.
The hallmark of Chris Millar’s art is excess, both of subject and of form. A grotesque imaginary world unfolds from one painting to the next, inviting viewers into a universe inspired by comic books, heavy metal music, video games, B movies and myriad elements of a fantastical, alternative pop culture. Every inch of surface teems with details and oddities in his dense compositions. Gutterballs (back cover), which serves to illustrate the jacket for an album of Millar’s experimental music, draws the eye into a futuristic bowling alley peopled with weird creatures and costumed characters. Pencils are poked into the stained panels of the suspended ceiling, from which a blue man wearing a skull on his head emerges, and the walls directly reference the abstract art of the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). Each element appears to have been chosen with great care, which further heightens the strangeness of the whole. But that is how Millar works: improvising on an initial idea, adding, appending and accumulating to create a wacky, surreal narrative.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Kent Monkman, acrylic, 2011, historical events

Photo: Paul Litherland, courtesy Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain, Montreal, TrépanierBaer Gallery, Calgary and Galerie Florent Tosin, Berlin

Kent Monkman
2011
Acrylic on canvas
121,9 x 152,4 cm
Coll. Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Kent Monkman camps up the history painting genre in works that revisit and rewrite historical events. Wielding wit and humour, he offers new twists on the subjugating relationship between First Nations peoples and European colonizers. Montcalm’s Haircut is a far cry from the received narrative, showing Miss Chief Eagle Testickle taking advantage of General Montcalm’s slumber. While the General, pictured as an Adonis and younger than his actual years in 1759, sleeps naked in his tent, Miss Chief, the artist’s alter ego, portrayed as an Aboriginal Delilah, cuts off his hair. Playing on the iconography of hair as a symbol of power and its removal as an act of humiliation and domination, Monkman recasts the narrative with a Native stripping a military man of his might. This is history told not from the perspective of colonial supremacy but from that of a Cree artist bringing subversive, sensual imagination to the anti-colonial discourse.
Kent Monkman camps up the history painting genre in works that revisit and rewrite historical events. Wielding wit and humour, he offers new twists on the subjugating relationship between First Nations peoples and European colonizers. Montcalm’s Haircut is a far cry from the received narrative, showing Miss Chief Eagle Testickle taking advantage of General Montcalm’s slumber. While the General, pictured as an Adonis and younger than his actual years in 1759, sleeps naked in his tent, Miss Chief, the artist’s alter ego, portrayed as an Aboriginal Delilah, cuts off his hair. Playing on the iconography of hair as a symbol of power and its removal as an act of humiliation and domination, Monkman recasts the narrative with a Native stripping a military man of his might. This is history told not from the perspective of colonial supremacy but from that of a Cree artist bringing subversive, sensual imagination to the anti-colonial discourse.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Tim Moore, collage, Canadian identity, 2010

Photo: Jim Lintott, courtesy the artist

Tim Moore
2010
Acrylic, watercolour, graphite, ink and collage on wood
30,5 x 22,8 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Tim Moore enlists a combination of painting and collage to explore the question of identity. His hybrid images evoke the multicultural essence of Canadian identity and point up the complexity of the nation’s history. Which Beast Shall I Admire parodies the cover of a fictitious magazine called The Canadian Colour. With the image of a moose and cut-out words, the artist couples the emblematic animal of the boreal forest with reference to the development of British North America, adding, then crossing out, the mention of French and Aboriginal roots, as if they had been literally “erased from the map.” The various symbols – the maple leaf, the red of the Canadian flag, the moose, the allusion to Canada’s three founding cultures – are meant to shed light on Canadian diversity while verging on a political message. A creature of dual heritage emerges from the combination of these fragments: part moose, native to Canada, and part cow (suggested by the white spots), introduced by European colonists. As the title asks, which of these animals, which culture, stands for North Read More
Tim Moore enlists a combination of painting and collage to explore the question of identity. His hybrid images evoke the multicultural essence of Canadian identity and point up the complexity of the nation’s history. Which Beast Shall I Admire parodies the cover of a fictitious magazine called The Canadian Colour. With the image of a moose and cut-out words, the artist couples the emblematic animal of the boreal forest with reference to the development of British North America, adding, then crossing out, the mention of French and Aboriginal roots, as if they had been literally “erased from the map.” The various symbols – the maple leaf, the red of the Canadian flag, the moose, the allusion to Canada’s three founding cultures – are meant to shed light on Canadian diversity while verging on a political message. A creature of dual heritage emerges from the combination of these fragments: part moose, native to Canada, and part cow (suggested by the white spots), introduced by European colonists. As the title asks, which of these animals, which culture, stands for North America?

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Shaun Morin, acrylic and oil, 2011, comic-strip treatment

Photo : Peter Kralik, avec l’aimable autorisation de l’artiste

Shaun Morin
2011
Acrylic and oil on canvas
98 x 117 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Many of Shaun Morin’s paintings exhibit a comic-strip treatment and read like collections of images, patchworks of juxtaposed motifs, scenes and figures. True to its title, Bits and Pieces is composed of small things not necessarily interconnected. By assembling disparate elements on the pictorial surface, the artist causes breaks in the narrative and introduces a degree of uncertainty, as if meaning were suspended in the dreamlike thought that unfolds from image to image. The subjects are widely varied, some familiar, some unknown, each contained in its own space. A comic-strip-like aesthetic takes shape and binds the fragments together.
Many of Shaun Morin’s paintings exhibit a comic-strip treatment and read like collections of images, patchworks of juxtaposed motifs, scenes and figures. True to its title, Bits and Pieces is composed of small things not necessarily interconnected. By assembling disparate elements on the pictorial surface, the artist causes breaks in the narrative and introduces a degree of uncertainty, as if meaning were suspended in the dreamlike thought that unfolds from image to image. The subjects are widely varied, some familiar, some unknown, each contained in its own space. A comic-strip-like aesthetic takes shape and binds the fragments together.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Andrea Mortson, landscape, imagination, profusion of signs, figures, sym

Photo: Roger Smith, courtesy the artist

Andrea Mortson
2009 - 2011
Oil on canvas
152 x 183 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Andrea Mortson’s landscapes flow straight from her imagination, teeming with a profusion of signs, figures and symbols. In her art, the represented exterior world reflects the inner world of self and implies navigating between them. The images embody a fleeting reality, their dreamlike quality accentuated by the loose brushwork and shaded colours. The Closer I Get to You is composed of two islets of landscape. The one on the left calls to mind both a paradise lost, alive with lush nature, and a cemetery, dotted with urns and a swan sculpture, while the calmer one on the right evokes a more solitary haven, overlooked by a winged skull whose kindly expression contradicts the sad fate it portends. This imaginary landscape confronts the viewer with a breach that has just opened, a crevasse in which two worlds overlap and remain utterly enigmatic. The symbolism of the content heightens the picture’s mystery, even though the title clearly suggests a reading and underscores the reference to death.
Andrea Mortson’s landscapes flow straight from her imagination, teeming with a profusion of signs, figures and symbols. In her art, the represented exterior world reflects the inner world of self and implies navigating between them. The images embody a fleeting reality, their dreamlike quality accentuated by the loose brushwork and shaded colours. The Closer I Get to You is composed of two islets of landscape. The one on the left calls to mind both a paradise lost, alive with lush nature, and a cemetery, dotted with urns and a swan sculpture, while the calmer one on the right evokes a more solitary haven, overlooked by a winged skull whose kindly expression contradicts the sad fate it portends. This imaginary landscape confronts the viewer with a breach that has just opened, a crevasse in which two worlds overlap and remain utterly enigmatic. The symbolism of the content heightens the picture’s mystery, even though the title clearly suggests a reading and underscores the reference to death.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Joseph Tisiga, oil, Native iconography, Indian Brand Corporation, 2011

Photo: Joseph Tisiga, courtesy the artist

Joseph Tisiga
2011
Oil on canvas
137.2 x 122 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


For some years now, Joseph Tisiga has revisited Native iconography in paintings where two worlds – First Nations and Western – coexist and interact. It was this reality that led him to invent the Indian Brand Corporation, a fictional company that fuses the (Indigenous) values of respect for ancestral land with the (non-Indigenous) exploitation of natural resources. This painting opens a door to the artist’s imaginary world through the figure of Red Chief, whose name alludes to the disparaging and once commonly used term “redskin.” Seated at a campfire, the chief appears to be in conversation with the ghost of an ancestor. The apparition wears a traditional feather headdress, while the chief sports a top hat and Western clothes. The juxtaposition of different cultural codes illustrates the dislocation of First Nations peoples, caught between two worlds.
For some years now, Joseph Tisiga has revisited Native iconography in paintings where two worlds – First Nations and Western – coexist and interact. It was this reality that led him to invent the Indian Brand Corporation, a fictional company that fuses the (Indigenous) values of respect for ancestral land with the (non-Indigenous) exploitation of natural resources. This painting opens a door to the artist’s imaginary world through the figure of Red Chief, whose name alludes to the disparaging and once commonly used term “redskin.” Seated at a campfire, the chief appears to be in conversation with the ghost of an ancestor. The apparition wears a traditional feather headdress, while the chief sports a top hat and Western clothes. The juxtaposition of different cultural codes illustrates the dislocation of First Nations peoples, caught between two worlds.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Caro Wainio, narrative power of the images, figuration appropriation, 2012

Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay, courtesy TrépanierBaer Gallery, Calgary, and Wynick/Tuck Gallery, Toronto

Carol Wainio
2012
Acrylic on canvas
137 x 183 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Carol Wainio is interested in the narrative power of images. Drawing from widely diverse iconographic sources (19th-century satirical illustrations, children’s books, early advertisements, fairy tales), she approaches figuration through references to the past. The images she creates form allegorical tales peopled by animal-headed figures wearing profoundly human expressions. In Standing, a frock-coated lynx, head held high as if posing for a portrait, stands in front of a drill rig spurting a thick stream of oil. A hare, also in period garb, stands off to the side, as if waiting for the show to end before joining his companion. Meanwhile, wild birds with feathers patterned in what resembles the famous Louis Vuitton monogram peck the ground around the well, oblivious to the impending danger. Nothing identifies the represented site, surrounded by a decorative frame whose ornamentation dissolves into the figures’ space. While the clothing, the drill rig and the Vuitton-like floral motif recall the 19th century and early industrialization, the painting reflects very contemporary environmental concerns.
Carol Wainio is interested in the narrative power of images. Drawing from widely diverse iconographic sources (19th-century satirical illustrations, children’s books, early advertisements, fairy tales), she approaches figuration through references to the past. The images she creates form allegorical tales peopled by animal-headed figures wearing profoundly human expressions. In Standing, a frock-coated lynx, head held high as if posing for a portrait, stands in front of a drill rig spurting a thick stream of oil. A hare, also in period garb, stands off to the side, as if waiting for the show to end before joining his companion. Meanwhile, wild birds with feathers patterned in what resembles the famous Louis Vuitton monogram peck the ground around the well, oblivious to the impending danger. Nothing identifies the represented site, surrounded by a decorative frame whose ornamentation dissolves into the figures’ space. While the clothing, the drill rig and the Vuitton-like floral motif recall the 19th century and early industrialization, the painting reflects very contemporary environmental concerns.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

Appreciate works of art
Learn and use vocabulary appropriate to contemporary art

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