Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 5, No. 1, 2006
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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Mark Goldfarb
  Contributing Editors
Bernard Dubé
Diane Gordon
Dan Stefik
Robert Rotondo
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
  Music Editors
Emanuel Pordes
Serge Gamache
  Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Emanuel Pordes
  Past Artists
  Armand Vaillancourt
Les Cosgrove
Gustavo Sigal
Guy Benson
Eric Bertrand
Lyne Bastien
Kapal Harnal
Nguyen Tai
Magdalena Magiera
Charles Malinksy
Marc Fortier
Bernard Dubé
Remigio Valdes de Hoyos
Mylène Gervais
Christina Coleman
Laura Hollick
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward


© Louise Jalbert

by Lydia Schrufer


Recently, during a gallery crawl at the Belgo building (372 Ste. Catherine St., Montreal), I happened to glance into Galerie Luz where I discovered a suite of five abstract, jewel-like collages by Louise Jalbert. These small-format works were part of a group exhibition, but despite their diminutive size, they stole the show. Titled Autumn Notes, they truly put in me in mind of a stroll through an autumn forest while listening to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. I contacted Louise to learn more about her.

Louise Jalbert earned an M.A. in painting from l’École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and a B.A. in Visual Arts from l’Université Laval, Québec. Besides working as an artist, she teaches painting and drawing, leads the workshop, Creating Your Life, based on the work of Robert Fritz, and has written and illustrated a children’s book, The Diverting Tale of the Radish and the Shoe, which is being re-issued in May 2006 under the name The Radish and The Shoe. It will be available at Les 400 Coups.

Here’s what she said when I asked about her exhibition at Galerie Luz.

“Little autumn notes are just that: small pictures that are reminiscent of what autumn is to our senses, colors that are brightening and softening, the smell of fallen leaves, the sound of rain, memories of going back to school, four o’clock dusk and fog. We come across these very simple things and they touch us inside. It is this resonance that I like to evoke.

© Louise Jalbert
© Louise Jalbert

April and November: these are the months that border on winter, months of no apparent beauty, even of austerity. Yet I find there is a poetry in these barren landscapes, patches of melted snow, the wet pavement, these little notes of pale light or bright silver, and the darkened earth. I love giving form to such simple impressions.

© Louise Jalbert
© Louise Jalbert

Summertime: with this simple word our minds fill with images of light, joy, a sense of playfulness and abundance. This is what I want here to convey, a reminiscence of the sight of sunlight through foliage, trees hiding behind greenery, birdsongs, the smell of rain.

© Louise Jalbert
© Louise Jalbert

My work is steeped in nature, what I look at and feel everyday: a landscape, the sharpening wind, declining sunlight, brilliant leaves falling softly in the wind. Color impresses me the most, and as such, is the starting point of a reflection that develops itself through drawings and color sketches. From these impressions and observations, I gather the shapes, colors, textures of my subject so as to become imbued by them. Then, working from memory, I start a composition with paint on paper. On this, I build up with papers I have colored and cut or torn, reconstructing the first impressions in a new way, enriched with the distant memories they have awakened.

© Louise Jalbert

Collage, with its playful use of shapes, transparencies and textures, allows me to convey the vision I have, a vision that is an evocation -- rather than an illustration -- of these fleeting but magic moments.”

© Louise Jalbert

Louise not only creates the same sort of magic with the other seasons, but it was magical discovering her work in such serendipitous fashion, which reinforced the conviction that gallery hopping should be a regular feature of everyone’s cultural diet. If you would like to know more about Louise Jalbert you can visit her website which goes up in March.

Gallery Luz is one of the many small galleries in a building that is dedicated to mostly contemporary artists. And it’s absolutely free. If you are an art lover visiting Canada, get yourself a copy of MAG Mass Art Guide for a convenient listing of galleries and museums.

For more information on the artist, please contact Arts Editor Lydia Schrufer.

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