MELANIE AUTHIER: CONTRARIETIES & COUNTERPOINTS
Sky Goodden, Sarah Milroy, Ola Wlusek and Robert Enright
Thames Art Gallery
76 pp col. ill. 10 x 8 in softcover
$30.00 Can. $30.00 U.S.
This first monograph on the work of an exceptional Canadian artist accompanies a nationally touring exhibition. Melanie Authier’s paintings are a heady rush of free-form improvisation that draw upon an expansive archive of expressionist and hard-edge histories within the lineage of Harold Town, Jack Bush and Joan Mitchell. Elegantly morphing and layering shapes, lines and textures, she creates a deep visual space that bridges abstraction and representation to offer improbable environments that generate new insights and pleasures upon sustained viewing. Authier’s practice is a perpetual play between chaos and control, the synthetic and the organic, the technological and the natural, flatness and depth, the atmospheric and the geological. These heterogeneous forces co-exist in a dynamic exchange that stretches referential limits, resulting in works that are disjunctive yet convincing. With dense compositions and lush, saturated colours Authier inverts formal hierarchies and blurs the lines between abstraction and representation. In English and French.
Melanie Authier’s work was included in Builders: Canadian Biennial at the National Gallery of Canada (2012). Recent shows include Young Canadian Painters at Idea Exchange - Cambridge Art Gallery, Cambridge (2014) and The Painting Project at Galerie de l’UQAM, Montreal (2013). Authier’s works can be found in numerous collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Embassy in London, UK, TD Canada Trust Collection, and the Government of Foreign Affairs. Melanie Authier was the recipient of the Honourable Mention Prize for the 9th Annual RBC Painting Competition (2007). Born in Montreal in 1980, she lives and works in Ottawa. The exhibition has been organized by the Thames Art Gallery in collaboration with the Ottawa Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Guelph, Kenderdine Art Gallery / College Art Galleries, Galerie de I’UQAM, MSVU Art Gallery and Musée régional de Rimouski.
“Authier plays free jazz, and like Max Ernst or Cy Twombly she proves that in the right hands the investigation of materials and form can yield fascinating results.” Brian Morgan, The Walrus