Colour and Light
October 12 - November 9
Opening reception: October 12th, 6-9 PM
NARS Project Space
Having reduced my palette to black and white in 2012, I am trying, since 2015, to include ambient light in my work, by painting on clear acrylic supports (commonly known as plexiglass), using this material’s transparency, reflective properties, reversibility and plasticity. By adding light to the traditional aspects of abstract painting, I seek to create a visual complexity that speaks of our time in which the screen is everywhere. In this new project, I tried to reintroduce colour in my work, by ways of the support. I was seduced by primary coloured fluorescent plexiglass that throws light on its edges.
The challenge was to create a fascination for colour and light that would be mainly pictorial with this material heavily associated with design. Thus, I used the plexiglass as if it was the paint: paying close attention to the specific effects occurring in the material. To make the most out of it, I have given up patterns to favour gradients that occur when a thick coat of acrylic paint gets thinner and let the colour of the panel appear. These gradients alter the colours, make the panels opaque and reduce the quantity of light that gets through them.
I created 3D paintings that hang to the wall but juts out into the room to catch surrounding light. Contrasting coloured panels overlap, creating new colours, light effects, and veils. The wall itself, painted black under some paintings, changes their hue and enhance this layering. Reversible, the paintings look contradictory when seen from different sides. However, one can easily mentally deconstruct their components, entirely exposed. This power of a painting to create an illusion, even when its material reality lay bare, is an important part of this project. Between transparency and opacity, illusion and objecthood, these paintings embody contradictions.
Fragmented square Y/B + R + W (study), 2018
Acrylic paint on acrylic panel
Julie Trudel is a painter living and working in Montreal, Canada. Her practice of abstract painting focuses on the material aspect of colour, trying to reveal it in a brand-new form. She holds a BA, a BFA and an MFA and has taken part in numerous artist residencies. She has exhibited in Europe, in the United States, and across Canada, including recent important survey of Canadian painting Entangled, two views on contemporary Canadian painting at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2017) and The painting project at Galerie de l'UQAM (2013). Trudel was a two-time finalist in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition (2011 and 2012) and the winner of the 2013 Joseph Plaskett Award in painting. She is represented by Galerie Hugues Charbonneau and she is Assistant Professor at Université du Québec à Montréal.
The artist would like to warmly thank École des arts visuels et médiatiques and Faculté des arts of Université du Québec à Montréal, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Joseph Plaskett Foundation, who supported the development of this project. She would also like to acknowledge the contribution of her skilful, intelligent and reliable studio assistant, Éloise Carrier, as well as Danny Glaude, David Allard Martin, Jean Talbot and Mario Baillargeon, who helped resolve many technical challenges. Thanks to NARS Foundation for the opportunity to show this work.