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Mots perdus: Michael A. Robinson, John Latour, Paul Butler and Mike Patten

March 25 - May 6, 2006


ABOUT THE SHOW | WORKS PRESENTED | VIEWS OF THE SHOW | ARTICLES | LINKS


ABOUT THE SHOW

Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present Mots perdus from March 25 - May 6, 2006. Mots perdus is a text-based exhibition that explores the unwritten, erased and re-imagined language of words. It includes works on paper by Michael A. Robinson and John Latour with invited artists Paul Butler and Mike Patten.

Michael A. Robinson presents a series of recent drawings that continues a ten-year trajectory of works made from the now outmoded graphic tool Letraset. Originally presented as part of an ensemble of works entitled Sweet Dreams, Robinson’s new pieces enter into a dynamic dialogue with the history of text-based art, from its modern roots to the present day. The formal and aesthetic concerns that Robinson investigates through this series subvert the traditional use of letters – as building blocks of words – in order to produce compelling and contemporary visual abstractions.

John Latour exhibits framed pages from an untitled and ongoing series of works that began in 1999. The artist applies layers of white paint to words and passages of text from some of his favourite works of fiction including Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Latour all but blanks out the original stories creating new and ambiguous texts from the words that remain. The stories that unfold are often fragmentary or involve uncanny situations. In some instances, words from the original Gothic tales appear just under the surface of the paint or bleed through from the other side of the paper.

Since 1999, Paul Butler has been obsessively writing lists of his personal aspirations and dreams. He would type them into his computer, print them out on paper, and carry them around in his pocket. Whenever he accomplished a particular goal, he crossed it off his list. After having collected several hundred pages of lists, Butler decided to bind them into a book format. For this exhibition, the artist presents three of his bound volumes from the series Things to Do. Readers will find no order to these pages and highly mundane objectives are often followed by more cryptic entries. The compilations include words that have been crossed-out as well as ones that remain untouched. Things to Do has become a life-long project for the artist, who sees it not only as a journal, but as a collection of self-portraits.

Mike Patten presents works from Lost Thoughts, a series of private notes that he faithfully writes into his hand-held computer using a stylus pen. This project combines the intimate acts of writing and drawing with accessible, mobile digital technology. Lost Thoughts may also be interpreted as an interactive journal, one that is subject to continuous revisions by the artist’s hand. Although Patten is systematic in putting his thoughts into words, he is just as likely to remove or partially erase those notes that he feels cannot be kept – intentions or memories that prevent him from moving forward in life. In this exhibition, the artist displays printouts from his electronic journal.

Mots perdus brings together the work of four artists whose text-based practices address diverse concerns, from formal aesthetics and the history of art to fictional narratives and autobiography. Despite their differences, each artist works serially and privileges the roles of immediacy, spontaneity and intuition in their respective practices. Even though the loss of words is a common denominator in their art-making, the significance of this phenomenon varies. It is used to either evoke new meanings through the manipulation of pre-existing forms or to locate the individual through self-defining / self-effacing acts.


WORKS PRESENTED


modern chimera
John Latour, The heart was a solitude , 2006, printed text on acid-free paper with acrylic paint, 88 x 58, 19 cm John Latour, The heart was a solitude (detail) John Latour, M. was a modern chimera, 2005, printed text on acid-free paper with acrylic paint, 20,5 x 12,4 cm
John Latour, The house was beloved deeply, 2005, printed text on acid-free paper with acrylic paint, 20.5 x 24.8 cm, private collection

 

john latour artwork
John Latour, Is this a memory?, 2005, printed text on acid-free paper with acrylic paint, 20,5 x 12,4 cm, private collection John Latour, I was a stranger, 2005, printed text on acid-free paper with acrylic paint, 20,5 x 12,4 cm, private collection
John Latour, silence, 2006, printed text on acid-free paper with acrylic paint, 20,5 x 12,4 cm, private collection
John Latour, The gentleman broke down and fainted, 2006, printed text on acid-free paper with acrylic paint, 20,5 x 12,4 cm

 

Cursed jl
John Latour, The Night advanced over a troubled ocean, 2006, printed text on acid-free paper with acrylic paint, 20.5 x 24.8 cm, private collection
John Latour, This creature was the model of repentance, 2006, printed text on acid-free paper with acrylic paint, 20,5 x 12,4 cm
John Latour, Cursed, 2002, printed text on acid-free paper with acrylic paint, 20,5 x 24,8 cm, private collection John Latour, If I was a cloud, 2006, printed text on acid-free paper with acrylic paint, 20,5 x 12,4 cm, private colelction

 

jl    
John Latour, I was asleep - when I saw the horrible thing;, 2006, printed text on acid-free paper with acrylic paint, 20,5 x 12,4 cm, private colelction    

 

Paul Butler, book of things to do, 1999, 28.5 x 22.5 x 4 cm Paul Butler, book of things to do, 1999, 28.5 x 22.5 x 4 cm  

 

Michael A. Robinson, Remainder rub, letraset on paper, 27 x 21 cm Michael A. Robinson, Untitled, letraset on paper, 27 x 21 cm Michael A. Robinson, Aftermath, letraset on paper, 27 x 21 cm Michael A. Robinson, Waterfalls, letraset on paper, 27 x 21 cm

 

Michael A. Robinson, Untitled, letraset on paper, 20 x 30 Michael A. Robinson, Untitled, letraset on paper, 21 x 27.5 Michael A. Robinson, Untitled, letraset on paper, 16 x 21 Michael A. Robinson, Untitled, letraset on paper, 16 x 21  

 

 
Michael A. Robinson, Untitled, letraset on paper, 24 x 21 Michael A. Robinson, les fleurs du mal, letraset on paper, 27 x 21  

 

 
Mike Patten, Untitled from the Lost thoughts series, 2006, digital slide presentation, variable dimensions, 11min Mike Patten, Untitled from the Lost thoughts series, 2006, archival ink-jet print, 61 x 163 cm  

VIEWS OF THE SHOW









ARTICLES

Lehmann, Henry. The Gazette, Montréal, Read between words at must-see show, April 15, 2006. pE4 Delgado, Jérôme. La Presse, Mots perdus : perdre son latin... et y gagner, April 21 2006. p5


LINKS

-John Latour's website
-John Latour's page on the PFOAC website
-Paul Butler's website
-Michael A. Robinson's website
-Mike Patten's website

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