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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Pauline Gagnon

Pauline Gagnon

Born in 1955, Quebec, Canada
Painting: Personal researches
Jewellery: École Armand Brochard, Montreal
Silkscreen: Atelier Guy Ruel, Montreal
Stone sculpture (marble): Studio Alessandro Ricci, Pietra Santa, Italy
Steel sculpture Atelier Notre Dame, Montreal
Theatre, decoration and costumes: Théâtre du Spéculum, Montreal
L’Atelier- théâtre, Montreal

After having spent two decades in the non-figurative style, Pauline Gagnon has adopted the portrait as the major genre of her work. Her larger than life portraits include oriental and calligraphic signs.

Pauline Gagnon’s process is very specific. She first takes hundreds of pictures of her models, then goes on to work on her approach, her angle and structure. The artist explains: “ I do not paint from the model in a classical way, but I take a series of picture of him/her, one hundred, two hundred, which I reframe on the computer, I print a few copies that I enlarge to a square. A centimeter square of the photographs becomes ten centimeters square of the canvas. With this grid traced on the canvas as a guide, I paint with large strokes the face or the silhouette and then freed from the constraint of representation, I paint in between the lines”.

To paint the body, the face of another, brings beyond the apparent simplicity of the action, a number of questions. What kind of relationship is established between the painter and her model? What links them to one another? What is the place of Desire? Seduction? Why has the body been an unavoidable theme in the arts since the beginning of its time? Why is it still such a fascinating theme whichever medium is chosen today?

If the relationship between the model and the artist faces us with many questions, the relation with the observer is by the same token also to be defined.

Pauline Gagnon

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