Richard Cloutier revisits geometric abstraction through the prism of his background in architecture. Drawing on the codes and graphic methods used in this discipline, he endeavours to deflect these techniques, which are employed here not in the service of any material structures, but rather as “signposts” meant to direct the discipline’s application.
His recent works make free use of “wire mesh” drawings generated by computer-aided 3D design software. They present improbable objects that simultaneously “occupy” and “contain” space. Stripped of their skin, these structures seem to float, as if disembodied, in the conflict-charged field between the harshness of their outlines and the expressive suppleness of their colour.
While in architecture, the repetition of a form in drawing has the form’s precise definition as the ultimate goal, these few works function by deliberately clashing with this original purpose. By turns subdued and invigorated, the initial structure is developed by bursts, in a palimpsestic manner. The final drawing, coated with stop-out varnish, disrupts the chronology of the previous works through the “background”, which turns out to be work’s top layer, sealing its final borders. Transposed into painting, the graphic precision which is normally associated with these rendering techniques loses its meaning; the lines drawn are subject to the vagaries of the medium.
Richard Cloutier, born in 1964 in Québec, has at first completed a bachelor in architecture at Université Laval. He pursues his studies and obtains a second bachelor in fine arts and a Master in the same domain in 2006. He has been the scholarship holder of the “Fonds québécois de recherché sur la société et la culture” and of the “Conseil de recherche du Canada” during the year of 2005-06. He has been on of the co-founders of the Ateliers 3 Cinquième, a group of over fifteen (15) artists. His works are part of numerous private collections and has been exhibited in Canada (Québec, Montréal and Toronto) as well as in the United Stated. In 2002, he has been invited to do an exhibition at the Loubens-Lauragais castle, near Toulouse in France. In 2008 and 2009, Loto-Québec added to its collection three artworks from the series Charlevoix and Les nouveaux vestiges. He also won the second price of the 2013 edition of the Concours d’oeuvres d’art de la Ville de Québec.