Sans faire abstraction

October 31 – December, 2020
Sans faire abstraction: Mario Côté, Michel Daigneault, Brigitte Radecki, Jeanie Riddle
As part of the event Pictura Montreal

Text by Noémie Chevalier in collaboration with
Rhéal Olivier Lanthier & François St-Jacques

Sans faire abstraction brings together four artists in search of an innovative and constantly evolving pictorial language. Mario Côté, Michel Daigneault, Brigitte Radecki and Jeanie Riddle present their most recent creations. Montreal artists, they each have distinct projects and approaches.

Indeed, Mario Côté is a painter and video artist. He directs his pictorial work towards the visual transposition of sound atmospheres of urban places and, more recently, towards the pictorial translation of musical works by American composer Morton Feldman. He seeks to confront musical notation, which structures time, by inscribing it in a properly pictorial space occupied by geometric and non-figurative signs.

Michel Daigneault, for his part, offers through his non-figurative works interesting games of arrangement and repetition, as much with shapes as with colors. He conjugates suggestions and allusions and evokes spaces that unfold in multiple openings like so many realities that interfere with each other.

Since 2015, Brigitte Radecki has been exploring the chance strategy of the fold. The fold as seen to represent a form of connection with the potential to reconcile opposites as between abstraction/representation, figure/ground, painting/sculpture. While availing herself of technology, she gives priority to the human hand and the visceral engagement painting affords. Her assigned metaphors upbraid the modernist claim of art’s self-sufficiency; meaning occurs where artwork and human imagination elide.

Finally, Jeanie Riddle uses found materials as a starting point to the sensitive fabrication of her paintings and objects. Her emotions disrupt the artwork, leaving the site cluttered with the promise of change found in painted representations of color. Each color is balanced, negotiated, and positioned as a potential. It is through the circumstance of chance, pain, and romance that according to her, nothing feels faster than being in color.

I spoke with Rhéal Olivier Lanthier and François St-Jacques, the two co-directors of Art Mûr, to ask them about the genesis of this exhibition. Indeed, how did the idea for this project come about?

The Montreal and Canadian visual arts scene changed a lot in the last few years, many presenters have disappeared, either by closing or merging. Since the Pictura project was conceived primarily in collaboration with existing presenters on the art scene, we felt it was important to participate in a unifying event around painting, so that artists left orphaned by their venue would not be forgotten. Our selection is composed of only four artists, so it is not exhaustive, but it is meant to be a reminder of the existence of a whole group of painters who will be absent for this first edition of Pictura. 

Why did you specifically choose these four artists? Mario Côté, Michel Daigneault, Brigitte Radecki, Jeanie Riddle ?

We had the opportunity to work with these four artists in different circumstances, either through an exhibition, a fair, or others, and we greatly appreciated their productions and their personalities. We had the idea of bringing them together in an exhibition that talks about abstraction in painting and its interpretation through their work, but we also wanted to emphasize the importance of being on the look-out for artists who for reasons beyond their control find themselves neglected. Being an artist is a difficult job, even if one is talented, it is very easy to disappear from the radar, hence the importance of taking advantage of these large gatherings to bring together as many members of this great pictorial family as possible. The title with its double meaning sums up our objective well.