Volume 92, Issue 18
Friday, October 2, 1998
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Life imitating art, imitating life
By Sarah Kyle
Toronto-based artist David Bolduc's recent work is a study in colour, texture and linearity. The series fills Thielsen Gallery's three rooms with an overabundance of brilliant colour and harsh lines, which at first glance can be daunting.
Once past this initial shock, Bolduc's work becomes increasingly intriguing. His most prevalent subjects are flowers and vague constructions of lines. Although apparently self-evident, the images contain layers atop one another that capture the viewer.
For instance, in a work entitled "Sleep," the audience's attention is lured to a vine of flowers visible through the heavy blue paint. The flowers, drawn onto the canvas right out of the paint tube, create texture beneath the initial image.
He also reverses this technique and layers paint above the image in words. In "Sleep" the words read, "Art doesn't sleep in beds made up for it." The rest of the image is in relative harmony with the other paintings of the series. It contains a construction of lines in bright colours that draw the viewer's eyes through the image, its words and textures.
Bolduc claims the collages which dominate this collection are auto-biographical. "It's a kind of floating journal," he explains. "[Collage has] fulfilled the function of a paper trail through my life."
The collage series is particularly captivating and remarkably different in this otherwise homogeneous collection. "Beneath the flower image is stuff pasted on that has come through my hands," Bolduc explains.
These pieces are clearly the most personal works in the exhibit and contain book covers, photographs and invitations among other paraphernalia of Bolduc's life. The collage series provides a successful foundation for the exhibit by juxtaposing the fantasy of Bolduc's paintings with the reality of his life.
Another attraction of the exhibit is Bolduc's use of other mediums to isolate his subjects. This is especially evident in his collage work but also in a series of small canvases entitled "Tea." Working in bright colours he centralizes an abstract flower motif using pieces of ribbed cardboard and different thicknesses of paint.
Bolduc suggests this series is reminiscent of a Japanese tea ceremony and the flower subjects are taken from either an arrangement from a ceremony he attended or from ceramics depicting the ceremony. "Some [of the subjects] are taken from life, or from art or artifacts."
Bolduc claims the flowers "are a kind of analogue to the human figure." The soft lines of the flowers contrast the abundance of angularity in the exhibit. They ease the obvious cubist influence and make Bolduc's exhibit an accessible and enjoyable one.
Recent Paintings and Collages by David Bolduc runs through the month of October at Thielsen Galleries, 1038 Adelaide Street.
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