Diane Dufresne, Quebec singer/author/painter
Quebec star Diane Dufresne is not only an award-winning singer. She’s also an artist. Her latest work is featured in a solo show presented by the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and the Galerie Lounge TD of the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan. Her premiering artworks lie between figurative – you can discern the subject matter – and abstract - sometimes you are not so sure. Dufresne is already known to Jazz Fest art-lovers, for her Les triplettes de Montréal series; silkscreen prints of enchantingly elegant ladies colourfully – and sexily – clad in theatrical costumes. In her new show Pour amuser la Galerie, she has ‘‘thrown open the doors to my imagination!’’ The smart and stylish show is free from August 16 to October 7.
Galerie Lounge TD
Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan
305 Sainte-Catherine Street West, 2nd Floor
Montréal (Québec) H2X 2A3
Unique show of young artists at Art Mûr.
Art Mûr’s 8th edition of Fresh Paint/New Construction features works by 42 students from 11 Canadian universities. Just when you thought you had seen it all, new ideas abound in this exciting exhibit. In one room, paint has been lushly layered and manipulated into sensual abstract, well, sculptures by artist Jessica Massard. In another room, a TV connection wire hangs like a garden hose, coyly circling an ornate ironwork support. But look closely. By artist Shannon Scanlon, it is covered in python skin and has a tiny snake’s head at one end, thus justifying its title Trouble in the Garden of Eden. There is a delicious pun in Inner-city Bred. It is, indeed, a loaf of bread. Realistically executed in ceramic, the slices fall neatly as if well-bred. But the artist Sherrie Rennie turns the rest of the loaf into Evelyn Waugh’s ‘handful of dust’. Another work, Bubble Wrap – a pulsating pale wall - invites close inspection. It turns out to be plaster casts made of packaging from items stolen from the hardware store where the artist Helen Teager worked. The painterly strategy of unifying all the different shapes with a white wash imparts a feeling of sophistication – a tone totally opposite to the stolen items within. Leave the August daze. Go and see some cool hot art until September 1.
5826, rue St-Hubert
Montréal, (Québec) Canada, H2S 2L7
Art for money? Money for art? Galerie Donald Browne shows Who’s Paying You?
Donald Browne, who directs the gallery bearing his name, cleverly curates exhibit that asks this question. Browne is renowned for exhibiting some of the most exciting art in Montreal. Recently he sold out of the works he displayed at an art fair in Amsterdam, known for its appreciation of cutting-edge art. In this era of record-breaking prices at art auctions, Donald asks – ‘‘Why do artists do art? For money, or for art?’’ One would have thought that question moot for an artist like Damien Hirst, who recently sold his own works for an eye-popping sum (around $200 million) during a two-day sale at Sotheby’s. In fact, Hirst – one of the most famous contemporary artists on the planet – is celebrated at Galerie Donald Browne, along with Suzy Lake and Patrick Bernatchez. My favourite? Artist / photographer Gabriel Coutu-Dumont’s damsel done in Dutch-portraiture style. His lighting is subtle and evocative. The image portrays a young lass as she leaves a local bar. She wasn’t paid, but Dumont’s photograph, created in the style of a 17th-century picture, will surely find a buyer. The range of art works is amazing. Go until August 25.
Donald Browne Gallery
372 Ste-Catherine West, ch. 528
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3B 1A2
*Check websites for galleries’ summer hours