Marie-Claude Lacroix

Marie-Claude Lacroix
Concordia University (Montreal, QC)

My work reflects a fascination for the construction as well as the fragmentation of images,
the idea of inner life being an omnipresent theme in these pictorial works. Through a contemporary approach to still life, I develop a research that explores the relationship between materiality, vulnerability and ambiguity.

These paintings are the result of a systematic methodology, where mediums accumulate in order to generate incongruous environments. First, I make assemblages that will then be staged in small scale models. The resulting compositions are then documented until an image is obtained. Photography, an inseparable medium in this process, is used like a sketch to elaborate a graphic composition. These spaces are made from materials that evoke alterations; glass, blunt and sharp objects, paper, cardboard, ropes, different types of adhesive tape, liquid, shiny or viscous materials… This materiality evokes modification and fragility.

These anonymous shots suggest a human presence, without ever illustrating it. The objects are staged in a way that generates symbolism. Materiality is used in a way that echoes emotions and mental health. There is a desire to depict control, and the loss of it, in the same space. I perceive control as a domination over oneself, particularly enigmatic, which leads to multiple reflections on mental balance. I also question the ways in which hypersensitivity is portrayed, and the ways in which society tries to contain and frame this psychological trait. Thus, I want a gentle violence to emanate from these images. A darkness that is controlled, in a space where an intimate ambiguity reigns.

The idea of detail is at the centre of this practice, choosing the enlargement of the shot as a way of working the composition. The partitioning of the elements, mixed with a shifted spatiality, produces a certain strangeness. By representing only a reduced angle of a space, an interest in lack and absence is manifested. The multiple altercations of the elements in these images symbolize moments of instability and upheaval. I attempt to evoke anxiety by depicting subjects colliding, sinking, being pierced, torn.

Thus, the distortion of these objects alludes to the potential transformation of mind and feelings. Here we see an interest in the relationship we have with emotional healing and in our ability to shape ourselves at the level of psychological balance.

I am an emerging Quebec artist who lives and works in Montreal. I am currently completing my Master’s degree in Fine Arts at Concordia University, with a concentration in painting and drawing. With the medium of oil painting, I play with the traditional codes of still life. During the past year, I had the pleasure of exhibiting at Never Apart, as well as organizing my first solo exhibition at the AVE Gallery in Montreal. These experiences were followed by a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in 2018, and one in 2020 in Los Angeles at the Eastside International Residency. I have also had the privilege of being a recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Fellowship and the Dale and Nick Tedeschi Fellowship.