PIERRE BRUNEAU: ?!?
January 9 - February 15, 2014
Opening reception: January 23
De luca fine art is pleased to present our first exhibition of 2014 by Montreal artist Pierre Bruneau, appropriately titled ?!? For more than twenty years, Bruneau has focused on the phenomenon of phosphorescence in its myriad interpretations. His paintings morph as they react to variations in light. In the dark, images reveal themselves, filigreed in the matter, immaterial, ungraspable. As darkness recedes, the fading figurations give place to rich monochromatic pieces.
As early as 1994, Bruneau explored the notion of a lost object one’s looking for: forgotten keys, eyeglasses, etc. Soon after, the portrait of a late friend taken away by AIDS was the catalyst for a large production entitled The Phosphorescent Assembly. Encompassing people of all kind, from renowned personalities to family members or unknown figures, they reveal their subtle silhouette in darkness.
In a different series Bruneau focused on the idea of camouflage. Interested to pursue the notion of patterns that allow men and women to blend into the environment, these works are based on three patterns used by the East German, Danish and French armies. Although developed for military purposes, the patterns offered graphic qualities that were similar to a variety of approaches in painting, be it form or visual elements.
For this exhibition at DLFA, Bruneau has decided to place the viewer in the role of the voyeur. In this recent production, he explores some of the complex and mysterious aspects of human nature, that which is concealed deep within each individual, inspired by this invisible part that each holds inside. Underneath the skin-coloured pigment of the delicate surfaces reside evocative portraits, indiscernible to light. For the most part, the images are excerpt from pornographic web sites. These are intentionally cropped so to leave out the obvious and only keep the essence. These figures evoke pleasure, ecstasy, suffering or pain, all at the same time, depending on the viewer’s interpretation. Hence, the notions of intimacy, desire, fantasy and interdict become central to the reflection.
Specifically for DLFA, Bruneau has also elaborated a corpus of pieces inspired by the arabic window ornaments of moucharabieh, structures which allow the viewer to see without being seen, again setting the viewer in the position of a voyeur.
With high-skilled precision, the technique elaborated by Bruneau is nothing less than stunning. As a true alchemist, he transforms matter into light and orchestrates metamorphoses.