Synchrodogs, Benoit Paillé, Delaney Allen & Valérie Blass in an Open-Air Exhibition at Galerie Blanc
June 22, 2017 — September 25, 2017
1130 St Catherine St E, Montreal
Inaugurated last week as part of Aires Libres, a public art manifestation taking place each year in the gay village of Montreal, Galerie Blanc is a new outdoor gallery bringing art directly into the heart of this vibrant area. Punctuating the stroll on St Catherine street in an unexpected way, Blanc is altering the experience of the neighbourhood through its remarkably well curated first exhibition.
Designed by Alexandre Berthiaume of Futil Design and curated by Nicolas Denicourt of Think Outside the Box, this art exhibit was conceptualized around the theme of Super-Nature. It presents the work of Synchrodogs, Benoit Paillé, Delaney Allen and Valérie Blass.
When walking through the exhibition, immersed by the brightness of the white walls and the subtle tactility of the rocks under your feet, it feels really calm and quiet. The setting of the gallery drastically contrasts with the surroundings, mostly constituted of old brick buildings all differing from each other. The white minimalist design, clearly inspired by the forms of Le Corbusier’s architecture, provides a resting place for the eyes in this visual chaos.
Beyond the merge of the modern and the traditional in the architecture of Galerie Blanc, most of the artworks suggest this dichotomy in a more evocative way. The display of the images in light boxes and the visible use of technology in the retouching of the photographs gives them a very contemporary aesthetic.
However, their representation of nature is reminiscent of the ideas of the picturesque and the sublime that animated the whole production of the german romantics in the 19th century.
Benoit Paillé uses colourful gel to alter the usual and gives a surreal touch to the natural world. Synchrodogs staged nude bodies in majestic landscape and therefore reminds us of the immensity of the universe. Delaney Allen presents a brute and wild nature that is almost completely abstract. In a more formal way, the sculpture of Valérie Blass engenders a formal dialogue between the artworks and the space around the gallery by suggesting shapes deriving from nature.
Both the architecture and the photographs presented in this open-air gallery contributes to remind us of the impact of nature on the human spirit. Galerie Blanc gives a glimpse of contemporary sublime that is accessible for everyone at any hour of the day.