resim 419
resim 419

We’ve been following Nicolas Grenier and his subtle social criticism for ten years. With his stylistic attraction to architectural processes, symbols and diagrams, developed with a color painting in quite remarkable gradients.

Collectors are not mistaken. His works have been going like hot cakes since the opening. His previous work in charcoal dated back to drawings sketched from live models during his university studies. “It was interesting to get back into it, because I’m too comfortable with oil. It cuts me off from certain creative ideas. There, in charcoal, I can make mistakes, recover them. I have no choice but to let myself be guided by this medium, which is the most primitive since originally, charcoal is ultimately just a piece of burnt wood,” says the 40-year-old artist. .

His works have been created since August, with the majority having been completed this year. They talk about the cultures of the world, beliefs, our achievements, our challenges, the wars and ravages that color human evolution, the consequences of the exponential development of digital technology, artificial intelligence, its influence on democracy, communications, our freedom. Unlike his previous works, which often included words and slogans, Nicolas Grenier chose the path of suggestion, in order to give free rein to everyone’s perceptions.

The largest charcoal, Inventory…, is a huge, completely redesigned “world map”. As if the furious Earth had unleashed a devastating orogenesis that would have turned the continents upside down! It’s fun trying to tell where Montreal is, India, Africa, France, Japan or Australia! The dimensions of countries and mountains have changed. The reading is complicated, but the general effect is splendid.

Nicolas Grenier has also returned to sculpture. He hadn’t sculpted since 2017 and his The Keeper, a kind of eight-headed Big Brother. His two new sculptures were made piece by piece in 3D printing with PLA filament, the sculptors’ bioplastic. The pieces were then assembled, sanded and covered in particular with charcoal powder.

The first is an association of a tortured Gothic Jesus, typical of the 13th century in central Europe, a 3rd century Afghan Buddha and a Rama of ancient India, festive and sensual. A mixture of styles and eras to suggest the variety of visions of the world. The second sculpture combines the Statue of Liberty and Lenin. An evocation of 20th century ideologies.

Among his new oil works related to his previous productions, Sketches of Scale also deals with the idea of ​​inventory with the representation of networks that look alike. The branches of a tree, the network of the pipeline that transports Russian natural gas to European capitals, our brain network, roots, the vascular system of a lung or the sewer network of Vancouver! A kind of variation of the same theme, to illustrate human organization, whether intrinsic or external.

Brilliant and tireless, Nicolas Grenier has already taken the next step. He is currently working on his next exhibition which will be presented in July at Place Ville Marie. A performative project with Massiv’Art on artificial intelligence. We look forward.

In parallel, the gallery presents in its bunker that which trembles wavers [ce qui tremble vacille] by Azza El Siddique, the Sudanese-Canadian artist that Bradley Ertaskiran has represented since October. An exhibition in dialogue with that of Nicolas Grenier since it also addresses the cultures of the world and the structures of power. The works are presented in such a way that it looks like a mausoleum or a museum room of ancient works.

Inspired by the African continent, this new production includes black porcelain works from the molding of fake African masks to evoke mythology and the commercial replication of art objects.

But it is the installation of the bunker that impresses. A smell of sandalwood fills the space where a sculpture represents a double cobra placed above a steel tank filled with water. The sculpture is permanently wet by this water falling from the structure. Watering the tint of a rust color. An allegory of power (the cobra) that disintegrates when it looks in two opposite directions…