THE ART OF
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.
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.
what she said when I asked about her exhibition at Galerie Luz.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
more information on the artist, please contact Arts Editor