Fresh Paint / New Construction 2017

July 15 – August 26, 2017
Opening reception: Saturday, July 15, 2017 from 3-5 p.m.
Fresh Paint / New Construction – 13th edition
Art Mûr, Montreal (QC)

Yasmeen Nematt Alla, Jeffrey Altwasser, Angie Arsenault, Anne-Marie Bélanger, Carly Belford, Danielle Bennett, Eleanor Boyden, Michelle Bui, Kyle Bustin, Natalie Castrogiovanni, Tianma Chu, Clara Couzino, Luc Dansereau, Eduardo Della Foresta, Caroline Deschênes, Antoine Duhamel, Sana Faheemuddin, Marie-Eve Fréchette, Catherine Gauthier, Ursula Handleigh, Melika Hashemi, Veronica Keith, Caro LaFlamme, Julien Lebargy, (Sang) Min Lee, Audrey Leroux-Jones, Jess Lincoln, Alastair Martin, Sara Maston, Eric McKay, Audie Murray, Eryn ONeill, Marie-Soleil Provençal, Kizi Spielmann Rose, Marion Schneider, Scott Smith, Veronique Sunatori, Chelsey Thiessen, Marko Tonich, Sarabeth Triviño, Hailey Van Doormaal, Denise St Marie & Timothy Walker, Nic Wilson.

Text by Michael Patten

The time-honoured tradition of painting and sculpture is still fresh and exciting. The world has never been more technologically advanced yet hands-on art-making and the desire to see and experience an original artwork in person continues to thrive alongside photography and new media. Each year we rely on the expertise of university professors from all across Canada to help us select the best students in painting and sculpture who stand out for the originality and innovation of their practice for an exhibition titled Fresh Paint / New Construction. Now in its 13th edition, this year we are showcasing artworks from forty-four emerging artists from twelve institutions across Canada, including: the Alberta College of Art and Design, University of Regina, University of Manitoba, University of Waterloo, York Univeristy, OCAD University, University of Ottawa, Concordia University, UQAM, Bishop’s University, Université Laval, and NSCAD University.

One of the hallmarks of the exhibition is its diversity. Eleanor Boyden’s (ACAD) work embraces the parallels between her daily practice of Buddhism and mark-making, and Hailey Van Doormaal (Ottawa) uses electroluminescent wire in her practice to create abstract geometric sculptures that activate the space with light. Moving from pure form to the incorporation of new technology, Marion Schneider (UQAM) uses sentiment analysis to determine the value of art. Her program searches millions of online Tweets containing the phrase “This artwork is”. A positive response increases its value and a negative one decreases the amount. The value is then visualized on screen and printed on paper – which spills out into the gallery space.

Some artists play between two and three dimensions. Anne-Marie Bélanger (Laval) builds up fantastical new forms, layer by layer, of accumulated materials that have a kind of a biological magic and Ursula Handleigh’s (NSCAD) grid of small twisted and bent steel photographic plates oscillate between wall works and sculpture.

The practice of Audie Murray (University of Regina) gives new life to domestic objects though the integration of beadwork, and Sana Faheemuddin (Waterloo) finds beauty in the notion of imperfection. Her work is influenced by the mystical poems of Rumi and Kintsugi – the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a mixture of lacquer and gold.

Then we have the uncanny – where psychology meets art. Veronique Sunatori’s (York) self-reflexive and emotive sculptures and installations are made up of objects and materials that convey contemplations of deep personal feelings with some fantastic distortions of perception. Marie-Eve Fréchette (Laval) also creates enigmatic sculptures from the accumulation of disparate elements creating a sense of wonderment and imaginary function.

These are just a few examples of the extraordinary range of works we are exhibiting this year. The 13th edition of Fresh Paint / New Construction continues to attest to the vitality of painting and sculpture, to the success of Canadian universities, and to the innovation and quality of artworks from a new generation of artists.