21 February to 28 March 2009

Stéphane La Rue

Diaz Contemporary is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Montreal-based artist Stéphane La Rue. This is the artist’s first show with Diaz Contemporary.

Despite having emerged from the legendary territory of the Montreal Plasticiens, La Rue himself has adamantly refuted an adherence to any one movement, stating he does not “believe in ‘isms’ or ‘ists’”. Indeed it is hard to pin down La Rue or his practice with the usual labels associated with minimalism. His works do, in fact, involve a stripping down, both in terms of media and in terms of “action” within the confines of the picture ground. But this is merely the jumping off point for an engagement with the viewer that is as emotional as it is physiological.

This body of work gives an impression of adding a sculptural (and poetic) dimension to otherwise two-dimensional forms. Mylar sheets are tenuously joined by snippets of masking tape, a material not normally regarded as a medium unto itself, but rather as an invisible tool. After observing the pieces of tape for their own discreet formal integrity within the picture space, the viewer’s gaze comes to shift between the advancing and receding layers of transparency. It is not a question of one overlapping the other, but of one becoming interchangeable with the other. Here, the tape becomes a signifier of process, the brave and fragile act of creating—and a mirror to the similarly brave and fragile act of absorbing, reflecting and enjoying.