CONTEMPORARY REALISM /

France Houle

Magazin'Art - - Summary - Mi­chel Bois

"No mat­ter can be in­tel­li­gible wi­thout sha­dow and light. Sha­dow and light come from light." — Leo­nar­do da Vin­ci

France Houle's ma­tie­rist and abs­tract pain­ting style pro­poses a dia­logue bet­ween co­lour and mat­ter. This non-aca­de­mic ap­proach to pain­ting treats the sur­face of the can­vas as if it was skin, with its cuts, scars and ten­sions, the ar­tist wi­thout he­si­ta­tion re­sor­ting to the use of scra­ping, scrat­ching, la­ce­ra­ting and de­cons­truc­ting.

Pa­per, fa­bric, plas­ter, oxi­di­sed me­tal, oil, ink and acry­lic are ad­ded to the can­vas and their tex­tures mo­di­fied, scuf­fed and scrat­ched by pas­sing through a press from which they re-emerge in a ra­dia­ting state of unu­sual co­lour­ful lu­mi­no­si­ty.

Trai­ned in pen­cil and pas­tel dra­wing, then in wa­ter­co­lours and acry­lic, the ar­tist has long sought a me­dium that would al­low her to ex­press her­self with au­then­ti­ci­ty. Fol­lo­wing her in­tui­tion, know­ledge and ex­per­tise, the crea­tor is able to ex­tract out of her ma­ny ex­pe­ri­men­ta­tions a style that is uni­que­ly her own. In the wake of va­ried events and construc­tive ac­tions, in 2004, France Houle makes the de­ci­sion to de­di­cate her­self ful­ly to the prac­tice of art. She un­der­takes for­mal stu­dies in visual arts at the Uni­ver­si­té du Qué­bec in Mont­réal, a path that leads her to­wards tea­ching in a num­ber of schools. In 2007, she joins other ar­tists with the pur­pose of sha­ring her know­ledge through va­rious work­shops held in ac­cor­dance with the ob­jec­tives set by the Kaf Art col­lec­tive. To teach and ex­pound on the va­rious cur­rent ar­tis­tic trends while fa­vou­ring dia­logue with stu­dents, ar­tists and the pu­blic in ge­ne­ral, France Houle is in her ele­ment, hap­py and ac­com­pli­shed, the centre al­so en­su­ring the dif­fu­sion of si­gni­fi­cant works.

There are fi­gu­ra­tive, por­trait, land­scape and abs­tract pain­ters, and there are ma­tie­rists. There are al­so ex­pres­sio­nists, im­pres­sio­nists, rea­lists, hy­per-rea­lists and for­ma­lists, ba­sed on the in­ten­si­ty of brush or knife mo­ve­ment.

"In a cer­tain way, my works are me­ta­phors for life, fra­gile and strong at the same time. This is what I aim to ex­press in my pain­tings while ba­lan­cing shapes, ma­te­rials and co­lours," ex­plains France Houle. She adds that she per­ceives her­self as a "re­cy­cling" ar­tist, using a va­rie­ty of aty­pi­cal ma­te­rials such as wood, rope, oxi­di­zed me­tal, wax, and eve­ry­thing else that would catch the eye of the spec­ta­tor once cru­shed by an ins­tru­ment that will leave traces of scrat­ching and rip­ping as well as im­prints of ob­jects in geo­me­tric or or­ga­nic pat­terns. Here is where acry­lic and other co­lour pig­ments bea­ring me­diums will pro­duce the most for­mi­dable mo­saic ef­fects, cre­vices and cracks, in an in­fi­nite dis­play of stron­gly-felt im­pres­sions and elu­sive evo­ca­tions. The ar­tist im­pli­cit­ly sug­gests long­stan­ding ele­ments of the fa­bric of rea­li­ty. As if we could sim­ply glide from rea­li­ty to­wards the sur­real. An ab­so­lute must see!

France Houle is re­pre­sen­ted by: Ga­le­rie Kaf Art, 9367 La­jeu­nesse Street, Mont­réal 514 260-0591

Le goût du si­lence 2, mixed me­dia on can­vas, 76,2 x 76,2 cm, 2015

Apo­ni, mo­no­type, 20,32 x 14,6 cm, 2014

La fonte, en­caus­tic, glass and rust on wood, 35,5 x 35,5 cm, 2014

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