NICOLE ST-PIERRE AND HER
by Marissa de Consiglieri de Chackal
St-Pierre was born in Montreal in 1953. A self-taught artist,
she has been painting for more than a quarter century. St-Pierre
has a long list of Canadian exhibitions to her credit and has
exhibited in Sarasota, Florida and Arizona (Tempe, 1997) where
she was commissioned to paint two frescoes. She is presently exhibiting
in Montreal, Quebec City, North Hatley, Quebec, Canada and permanently
Artana Gallery in Brookline and Framingham,
Painting is the most beautiful
of all arts. In it, all sensations are condensed; contemplating
it, everyone can create a story at the will of his imagination
and – with single glance – have his soul invaded
by the most profound recollections; no effort of memory.
. . (Paul Gauguin, Notes Synthetics, c.1889)
also describes painting as "the most beautiful art"
and her life’s passion. A shy person, she resolves her inner
turmoil through her art!
Cherry Flower, acrylic on canvas, 10
x 8 inches, 2003.
work conveys strong emotion which the viewer can interpret "at
the will of his or her own imagination." An expressionist,
she intentionally distorts form, colour and space in order to
render an emotional interpretation of the world around her: the
neighbourhood, neighbours and everyday life objects. Tilted planes,
objects and human figures, askew proportions, stunning colour
and a bold spontaneous handling of paint characterize her compositions.
Nude with Apricots, acrylic on canvas,
60 x 20 inches, 2003.
St-Pierre’s palette is composed of primary and secondary
colours; frequently, the artist juxtaposes complementary colours
broken by thick, powerful and dark, almost black, lines and uses
white drapery to accentuate contrasts and balance the composition.
With her vibrant palette, St-Pierre captures the pleasures of
life in all their variety: sensuous female nudes inviting a caress,
circus entertainers making the pleasure of spectators, musicians
playing a favourite piece or singing an opera, lively piano bar
scenes, appetizing still lives and delightful floral arrangements
which make us dream of their exotic fragrance.
Flowers and Doves, acrylic and mix media
on canvas, 20 x60 inches, 2003.
Saxo Beat, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30
inches, January 2004.
spoke recently with the Heather Roy, owner and Director of Artana
Gallery, and asked her:
What attracted you to Nicole’s art in 2001?
ROY: St-Pierre's bold colorful palette paired with her unmistakable,
well-developed, ‘signature jaunty style’ is what
caught my attention and still holds it!
Why do you think she is so successful in New England?
ROY: Our following is conservative when it comes to collecting
art. There is a higher demand for figurative art than there
is for non-figurative art. While Nicole's subjects are definitely
recognizable, they are highly stylized and ‘lively’.
It is primarily this attribute that sets her work apart from
the norms of representational work. Generally speaking, significantly
colorful art was unpopular 6 years ago when the US economy was
strong and the world enjoyed relative peace. Today, expressions
of color are quickly gaining in popularity provided it is accompanied
by good composition and surface application. Bold, vibrant colors
have an amazing way of lifting people’s spirits. In addition,
there is a comeback in using a generous amount of color in home
décor, and Nicole’s work fits the bill in both
counts. I credit Nicole for captivating a regional market that
otherwise shies away from the strong use of color we see celebrated
in Latin American or African art. While Nicole employs a powerful
palette of red, green, yellow and blue, applied with an evident
brushwork, she creates a comforting harmony by painting subjects
New Englanders are especially fond of -- such as floral arrangements,
table tops, animals and the human figure. The suggested European
undercurrent also settles well with our following. In short,
the emotional content of her work which conveys such a positive
out look on life combined with an extraordinary artistic quality
creates paintings people can not live without! There have been
many ‘love at first sight’ experiences at the gallery.
Tell me a little bit about the upcoming exhibition of May 21.
ROY: Nicole St-Pierre has worked diligently in creating 35 new
works for the exhibition entitled The Pleasure of Life
which will open with a reception on May 21st (6-8 pm) at our
Brookline location. Artana warmly welcomes back her presence
on opening night and her visit to Massachusetts. The Québec
Delegation is kindly co-sponsoring the reception and will offer
Canadian delicacies as a welcoming gesture. The French Library
members have also shown great interest in the event and plan
to join us for the evening. I know that multi-time collectors
and local appreciators of Nicole’s paintings are truly
looking forward to meeting her in person as well. Moreover,
St-Pierre's show will be on exhibit during a popular city wide
art event called Brookline Artists Open Studios (BAOS). On June
5th & 6th Brookline artists open their doors for the weekend
and make themselves available in order to enjoy direct contact
with the public. Artana, along with other art venues, such as
the Brookline Community Center for the Arts, is a major sponsor
of the BAOS. We are excited to present Nicole’s show to
the thousands of visitors who anxiously await the annual BAOS
St-Pierre’s The Pleasure’s of Life will
run through June 26th.
very gratifying to learn that this Québécois artist
is enjoying great success in the United States where she is exclusively
represented in New England by Artana Gallery in its two locations
in Brookline and Framingham, Massachusetts. In late 2001, the
afore mentioned gallery selected Nicole St-Pierre as one of three
artists for its Special Canadian Exhibition held in January, 2002.
Following the unexpectedly warm reception of her work, the gallery
decided to continue exhibiting her painting, and is organizing
a solo exhibition (May, 2004) of her most recent pieces. There
the artist will share, once more, her life’s passion with
the American public.
The Bohemian, acrylic on canvas, 30 x
Gallery (1378 Beacon Street - Suite B, Brookline,
MA, US) will present a solo exhibition of Nicole St-Pierre’s
recent works beginning May 21, 2004. The Bohemian will
be part of the upcoming exhibition.To obtain more information
about the event, please visit www.artanagallery.com. The exhibition
will be available on Artana’s Web site from May 8th, 2004.