Eden

The biblical Garden of Eden was representative of a metaphoric existence without consequence or reality. The story of expulsion -a result of dabbling too deeply with what had been provided- has acted as a metaphor to many over the course of the ‘common era’. Beyond the spiritual and religious connotations associated with a monotheistic parent figure expelling its creations as a kind of punishment, the warnings inherent to mutating forms and matters of existence hold a current to our reality.

The new work of Nicolas Grenier examines the construction of life itself through painting. Using the color palette as a kind of DNA strand, each of these new works is the result of one base source, or code. None of the new paintings are in truth a realistic or authentic representation of an existent place, or person. They are representative of choices, the choices made by an artist defying standards and creating without consequence, and hold parallels to those who are currently unweaving the very strands of life to see what new combinations may become available. Eerily familiar in their rendering, yet completely void of actuality, they remind the viewer of what may be sitting behind closed doors, perhaps under lock and key in a room not unlike the one rendered in “painting name here”. In our current time, running towards a future we can only speculate may resemble our present; Grenier’s work is representative of a caring, well-planned ambivalence, and an ambivalence that questions without fear of judgment.

For every warning, there is a beautiful fruit to bear in its consequence. Within the routes traveled in our quests for understanding what beauty could be, jumps, breaks and continuities of discontinuous repetitions remake themselves. While these works examine and look to an unknown future, they are routed and embedded in the traditions of the past. Rather than terming them a hyper, or super, kind of realism, as has been discussed with reference to Grenier’s work in the past, these new works are perhaps representative of the future-real. It could be a future where mistakes will be made, and perhaps in our progression those mistakes will be frozen in time on a pedestal, but they will be foreshadowed by a landscape rendered timeless through our new lenses of understanding. But the rub of ambivalence holds the last word, as the artist has left the reality to show itself over time; a number of painted apples adorn the exhibition space, and while they hold an appearance of outward beauty, they are none the less, rotting from the inside out.