Diaz Contemporary is pleased to present new paintings by Montréal artist Pierre Dorion, in his first solo show with the gallery. This exhibition reveals Dorion’s recent interests, which have revolved around a formal stripping of the image. Known for a practice of painting using photographic sources, his work of the past 20 years has explored the human figure as well as architectural motifs, depicted with skillful accuracy. Lately, his photographic references are more of a jumping off point, from which the artist removes detail after detail until what remains balances on the threshold of representation, not quite real, not quite imagined. In the past, Dorion’s work has involved a questioning of the image and of the relevance of its interpretation through narration and content, which required more faithfulness to the photograph. These new paintings represent a shift to a more autonomous practice of painting, more focused on the medium itself, enabling the artist “to more and more freely explore color and the pictorial light, two essential qualities of painting.”
The artist works from photographs that he has taken on his travels of the architecture of art galleries as well as urban and rural domestic buildings. As always in Dorion’s work, there is a strong feeling of absence, invoking a metaphysical mood. Representation coexists with abstraction, and painting with photography and architecture, in a severe and melancholic atmosphere. While never straying completely from the photographic subject matter, Dorion attempts “to cross over, still through the use of representation, towards an intangible place, close to geometric abstraction and the monochrome. I'm trying to get to a pictorial space that is self-referential, avoiding direct quotations.”
Pierre Dorion is based in Montréal. He has exhibited widely in Canada and abroad, and is represented in numerous collections such as the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, and the National Gallery of Canada. He was recently featured in a solo exhibition entitled Pierre Dorion: peinture et photographie at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. He is represented by Diaz Contemporary in Toronto, Galerie René Blouin in Montréal, and by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York.