Galerie Bernard is proud to present the second individual exhibition of the artist Steven Orner, SOUVENIRS INVENTÉS, within its premises. Consisting of paintings on canvas and on paper, this new corpus continues the reflections of the artist on imaginary suburbs, inspired by the American ‘suburbs’. For several years, the artist explores the utopia and its opposite concept: the dystopia. He takes a look at the sustainability of this very American lifestyle.
The utopian ideal of the suburban environment is designed to be well-organized, orderly, and efficient; convenience is the key element. However, the other aspect of the contemporary suburbs – their dystopian side – is one that could be described as being sterile, boring, uniform and monotonous; a lifestyle where nothing seems to ever occur.
Steven Orner’s work has a close link with the narration: modern and popular imagery, caricatures, landscapes, architectures and, sometimes, the memories of the artist, are derived from their contexts and inserted in a new reality, as frozen in unusual and sometimes anachronistic «genre scenes».
In a dreamlike, fragmented fashion, a duality is created to meet different invented stories, especially in the tension between reality and fiction, the game and boredom, the dream and the memory.
Intrigued, looking at these productions and feeling the humour that emerges from Orner’s artworks, we are encouraged to ask questions; quite appropriately, on the outskirts of modern and contemporary, which is more than a decoration but a real filter through which to observe the dreams and troubles of a society.
Steven Orner was born in the United States and resides in Montréal for 15 years. Holder of a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a Master’s Degree in painting and engraving of the renowned Yale University School of Art, in United States. The artist spent several years in his pictorial practice. He has to his credit several exhibitions, both individual and collective, in various structures such as: the Museum of fine arts of Mont-Saint-Hilaire (2010), and also abroad (United States, Paris, Berlin). Fellow Council of arts and letters of Québec in 2008 and the Arts Council of Canada in 2009 and 2012, his paintings are part of private and public collections in Montréal and New York. He also received numerous awards, including the prestigious Schoelkoptf Travelling Fellowship Prize at Yale University, USA.