The next exhibitions by Sarah Stevenson in the Main Hall and Jeanette Johns in the Small Gallery are presented at the same time in order to uncover certain aesthetic connections between two generations of artists.
As the second iteration of a curatorial focus, Interlaced Lines follows in the same vein as the exhibition The Silver Cord, presented in the fall of 2018, which brought together the works of established artist John Heward and young painter Jean-François Lauda. Both artists worked with abstraction, creating expressive compositions in which gestural painting and geometry simultaneously liberate and contain the pictorial surface.
In Interlaced Lines, the grid and the line are omnipresent in the minimal and geometric compositions that form the work of Stevenson and Johns. In the Main Hall, five sculptures, constructed with colourful fishing lines into organic shapes, float in the industrial space. These aerial, vibrant, and evanescent sculptures create open and dense spaces that are light and rigid all at once. In the Small Gallery, works in various mediums explore the infinite possibilities of the grid. Woven textiles with repeated, dense, and textured motifs reveal the mechanical work of the loom; parallel and perpendicular lines intertwine to form imaginary constructions.
Despite its austere character, the grid offers an inexhaustible source of variations that contain and liberate at the same time. Rational and irrational, the grid empties all forms of subjectivity and narrative, while at the same time preserving the aesthetic experience caused by a repetitive gesture that engages our gaze in a type of visual trance. The grid compels us to simply let ourselves be carried away by the lines, surrender to its spirit, slow down, and open our eyes and souls in search of an abstract emotion.
Translated by Oana Avasilichioaei
Sarah Stevenson is an artist working in the media of sculpture and drawing. Born in England, she grew up in various cities across Canada, received a BFA from the University of Victoria in 1984, and settled in Montreal in 1988. Stevenson's work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Bologna and the Esker Foundation in Calgary. Stevenson has been represented by Galerie Blouin/Division since the early 1990s and more recently by Galerie Trépanier Baer in Calgary.
Johns comes from Winnipeg and holds a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Manitoba, and an MFA in Studio Arts (Print Media concentration) from Concordia University. She participated in many production and creation residencies, in Canada, the USA and Finland. In 2016, she published the artist book With Sufficient Distance, printed in risograph by Parameter Press.