Right from the start, Gilles Boisvert uses his creativity in a way of confronting the whiteness of the paper, he translates his ideas and emotions with a gesture that invades and runs all over its surface. At first attracted by the deliberate traces of oriental calligraphy, Boisvert is then interested in the gestural technique promoted by the dominant artists of the New York scene. Painting is now the core idea of the work: brushstrokes and colors splatter and drip on the canvas, revealing the real components of the work: traces of writings.
Early in his artistic career, Boisvert feels the urge to inscribe his practice in his social context: during the 60’s, the Québec society was in a period of change, like elsewhere in the world, which, according to the artist, wasn’t reflected in the art of the time. He absorbs the influence of American pop artists who had a really unique way of seeing the world around them. He starts to introduce figuration with the use of collage and photo transfer, while keeping his energetic, improvised and spontaneous brushstrokes. This results in an exploration of a pictorial path where both ideas derived from social concerns and a frenetic gestural treatment work together. Presenting images related to the news, the artist evokes and denounces the scattering of a society of entertainment, consumption and violence (…).
We could have thought that a transition to numeric technologies would make the gestural aspect in the work of the artist disappear, but it did not happen. With the use of specialized software, the artist is now able to inscribe a digital trace with the same ability as if using a paintbrush. His series of recent prints prove it well: they impose a soothing harmony between elements such as the sky, the sea, nature and the visual gestures of the artist.
Born in Montréal in 1940, Gilles Boisvert studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal, from 1958 to 1960. He then studied engraving with Albert Dumouchel, from 1961 to 1964. His artworks have been presented in numerous solo exhibitions in Canada and the United States and have also been part of different public and private collections, in Canada and abroad.
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Learn more about the artist:
La fabrique culturelle : « Gilles Boisvert »
La fabrique culturelle : « Gilles Boisvert sur fond noir »
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Visualize and download the visual pamphlet of the exhibition “D’UN GESTE À L’AUTRE” here:
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