CONTEMPORARY REALISM /
"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