Press release | For immediate diffusion

Galerie Bernard is pleased to present, from November 25th to December 20th, the exhibition MÉMOIRE ET DÉSIRS by the artist Steven Orner.

For the past 20 years, Orner has been exploring the generic and stereotypical aspects of the social imagination of North American suburbs. Loyal to his signature, the American-born artist presents us with characters emerging straight out of autofictional universes. They populate phantasmagorical suburbs that may appear both familiar and unknown, even surreal. His works recreate different contexts imbued with fiction, narration, desires and memories reanimated by his drawing and painting, in a style typical of the advertising posters in the 50s and 60s.

For this exhibition, Orner presents colorful works whose final rendering may seem like an aesthetic similar to collages of images extracted from various advertising documents and popular culture. Demonstrating a great mastery of painting and drawing, this seductive trompe-l’oeil certainly invites us to get closer to them and discover countless details and a rich composition, testifying a playful and critical spirit.

Orner explores the utopian and dystopian imagination of his childhood suburb; spaces of life filled with promises of a better future, or worrying places of homogenization and social isolation. Regardless of our point of view, the nostalgic and socio-historical spirit of these places is evoked with force and sensitivity, offering a new and eccentric look at our environments. The artist thus paints a humorous portrait of a chaotic world that brings back our memory, our desires.

Steven Orner was born in the United States, in Pennsylvania, and has lived in Montréal since 1998. He obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a Master’s degree in painting and printmaking from the renowned Yale University School of Art, United States. Orner has had many exhibitions, both individual and collective, in various institutions such as the Galerie d’Art d’Outremont (2020), the Gesù (2012-13), the Mont-Saint-Hilaire Museum of Fine Arts (2010), as well as abroad (United States, Paris, Berlin). A laureate of the Québec Arts and Letters Council grants in 2008 and the Canada Council for the Arts grants in 2009 and 2012, his works are part of public and private collections in Montréal and New York. He has also received numerous awards, including the prestigious Schoelkoptf Travelling Fellowship Prize at Yale University. This will be his third solo exhibition at Galerie Bernard.

CLICK HERE to view the video for the exhibition “MÉMOIRE ET DÉSIRS”

CLIQUEZ ICI/CLICK HERE (52 downloads) to download the visual pamphlet for the exhibition.