De toutes petites histoires Simple short stories
“New Old Masters” is an expression coined by Donald Kuspit, the distinguished New York art critic, to describe contemporary figurative painters who reinterpret or even expropriate the work of the Old Masters. Both painters France Jodoin’s and Kevin Sonmor’s works, who live in Cowansville and work in the region, could well answer this description. Rare signs of a human presence, the sailboats of France Jodoin seem defenseless before the violence and immensity of the sea, lost at the point where it merges with the sky. Creating silhouettes of boats without sails, barely sketched in, tossed by the turbulent waves or floating in the mist of calmer seas, her sea-scapes are at the same time studies of traditional subjects in art history and a reflection on pictorial space. In the same way, the work of Kevin Sonmor is nourished by ambiguities. Specifically, he matches bits of classical subjects – flowers, fruits, still lives, horses – with a more contemporary technique, a spontaneous brush-stroke, a texture modern and fluid, with a powerful colorization. Both artists bring time to a halt, freeze a moment, tell a story or a narrative, in a space where a strange sadness or a vivid emotion is expressed
by a deep comprehension of painting itself, by the exploration of texture, between a kind of reality and an evident theatricality.
When looking at a France Jodoin painting, one recognizes a fluidity of purpose both in the making and the viewing. A sense of something becoming, for a moment, then slip- ping away. France Jodoin is a painter of moods and must, as such, labour from her intuition. There is no time or space here for pedestrian details or mundane specifics, only for directions…abstraction becoming figuration, stillness dissolving into movement, air into water, architecture into mist.
France Jodoin. Échos, 2011, oil on linen