16 January to 20 February 2010

Francine Savard
Graphs & Books

Diaz Contemporary is pleased to present work by Montreal-based artist Francine Savard in her second solo-show at the gallery. In this exhibition, Savard demonstrates her engagement with and contribution to the discussion of painting as a philosophical practice. She is part of a growing group of artists who place their process at the forefront of the value of the work, encouraging us to understand art less as an object, but more as a material representation of thought.

The 8 inkjet prints (2009) in this exhibition are based on drawings that were used for a series of 8 blue % paintings. The prints reflect the original forms that, combined with scale-captions, were used as plans for the construction of each structure. The % paintings from 2006 reflect the outcome of the grammatical de-fragmentation of an art commentary text. Each result (S=4%, E=12%, N=32%, etc) represents the weight of each category as the portrait of the necessary words in a coherent speech.

Accompanying the prints are two ensembles of paintings: Volumes noirs and Volumes orange (2000-2008). These monochromatic works express the formal aspects of a book through the language and materials of painting. Using simple painting syntax, they displace the reading from a series of strict abstract paintings to figurative representation, resulting in a very concrete object. These works, much like the rest of Savard’s oeuvre, provoke contemplation of the relationship between textual and visual forms.

Savard’s work has strong roots in the history of conceptual painting. It follows a set of rules with absolute faithfulness through to their mysterious conclusion. In this regard, Savard takes on a role that is part medium and part messenger. Her attraction to the written word is translated into a completely different aesthetic language – that of painting.

Francine Savard is a Montreal-based artist. After studying graphic design at the Royal College of Art in London, she earned her Master’s in Visual Arts from Université du Québec à Montréal in 1994. The first retrospective of her work was recently presented by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Her work can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.