September 10 - October 10, 2016
‘’ CHAMP D’ACTIONS could be resumed in this way: ‘Nothing is fixed, nothing is stable, be happy’. This exhibition will try to demonstrate that individuals are part of the inexpressible, the unthinkable and the entirety’’.
– Sylvain Bouthillette, 2016
Four years after his last solo exhibition at the gallery, Sylvain Bouthillette is back with a new and highly relevant body of work. The consistence and innovation brought here in the accomplished works of CHAMP D’ACTIONS offer a new perspective on the artist career. As we recognize Bouthillette’s familiar aesthetic in the usual mantras of the painted wood panels, the curses and swear words are left aside in favour of a more spiritual essence (No fear – Vacuité sans peur – Gone, Gone, Gone Beyond, Totally Gone). Far from falling into a formula, repetition in Bouthillette’s work translates the maturity and experience of the artist and his formal vocabulary that is distinguishable by this accumulation of graphs and pictorial signs, among other things. Even more than before, the concepts of distance, time, present, and matter are pushed by the parallels between quantum physics and Buddhist mystical thought.
This new body of work plays on the principle of impermanence, an illustration of the concept of change and constant movement. Letting go of the anthropomorphic connections and animal figures he has extensively explored, Bouthillette pursues the research he has initiated a few years ago around the skull pattern. We find them here completely deconstructed, formed by a complex network of lines converging toward a center, acting on our being like a radiesthesic process. Playing with transparency and superposition of supports, these new pieces echo work of Joseph Beuys, among others, while recalling the black backgrounds highly wrought of Bouthillette’s works of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The artist continues to explore a way to express that all we perceive is interdependant, from the smallest cosmic particle to the great wonders of life.
No matter the medium used, the work of Bouthillette suggests that nothing is solid, everything is energy in motion and that, finally, the notions of ridicule, confusion, instability, ambiguity, uncertainty and embarrassment are all release forms, as long as we stop believing that life is something immutable.
Sylvain Bouthillette has an MFA from Concordia University. His work has been exhibited in Quebec and Canada, notably at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, as well as internationally in Reims (France) and Bâle (Switzerland). The Musée régional de Rimouski and the Centre Expression de Saint-Hyacinthe have jointly organized an important exhibition of his work (Dharma Bum) that was shown in the rest of Canada between 2006 and 2008. His work figures in numerous museum and corporate collections, such as the collection of Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the collection of Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the collection of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the collection of Cirque du Soleil, the collection of National Bank of Canada, the Loto-Québec’ s collection, the collection of Ville de Montréal and Hydro-Québec’s collection.