Canadian Art

See It

Mathieu Lefevre: From the Studio to the Skatepark

Galerie Division, Montreal Jun 25 to Jul 30 2011
Mathieu Lefevre <em>Awesome</em> 2011 Mathieu Lefevre Awesome 2011

Mathieu Lefevre <em>Awesome</em> 2011

Mathieu Lefevre’s exhibition “Showing Stuff in a Big Room” has a title indicative of the kind of humour that permeates this young Montreal artist’s work: obstinately cynical, self-consciously literal and obvious to the point of parody.

Physically, the show consists of Lefevre’s painting/sculpture hybrids—works that confuse easier categories of two- and three-dimensionality. While maintaining the conventional components of painting (oil and canvas) and, less conventionally, adding materials that more or less amount to a number of gag props, Lefevre redesigns these media to create paint-based sculptural objects riffing on garbage bags, sandwiches and other icons of contemporary art.

Also on display are a number of items from Lefevre’s Lessons from Art History series. Each piece uses as its base a prototypically bland museum gift-shop poster of a work by a celebrated painter. Over this, Lefevre spray-paints enthusiastic platitudes and bro-slogans: “AWESOME” on Pollock, “LOL” on Watteau, “SKATE OR DIE” on Malevich and so on.

Malevich is a repeated reference point, as in Lefevre’s Happy Birthday Malevich. A large white plaster rectangle hung slightly askew and off-centre on canvas, topped with a circle of sparse white candle-like protrusions, it actualizes Malevich’s two-dimensional White on White into a three-dimensional birthday cake. The work’s historical allusions bridge reference and irreverence to unsettle assumptions around both making and viewing art.

This article was first published online on July 21, 2011.

RELATED STORIES

  • Christian Knudsen

    This exhibition, curated by Benjamin Klein, offered an enticing cross-section of Christian Knudsen’s painting, sculpture, drawing and photography. A restless spirit, Knudsen gives the impression of a savant at work.

  • Barry Allikas: Event Horizons

    Montreal painter Barry Allikas combines the enigmatic with the sinister in his latest works. Alternately evoking rave parties, Motherwell paintings, and hard-edge traditions, Allikas creates meeting places between intent and action.

 

FOUNDATION NEWS

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

ONLINE

  • Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: Black Birds

    New York critic Joseph R. Wolin heads to the Park Avenue Armory where Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are creating a buzz (and other sounds) at the US premiere of a dark, nightmarish installation originally created for the 2008 Biennale of Sydney.

  • Grange Prize 2012: Hot Shots

    One of Canada’s largest cash-value art prizes—$65,000 in total with $50,000 going to the winner, $5,000 to three runners-up—announced its finalists this week. Take in their wide-ranging works in this slideshow.

  • Wanda Koop: Into the Woods

    A visit to Wanda Koop’s cabin near Riding Mountain National Park in southern Manitoba proves intriguing for Vancouver critic Robin Laurence. There, Laurence writes, Koop bridges old Grey Owl myths with a new series of paintings on our increasingly digital culture.

  • Brad Tinmouth: Survival Strategies

    The basement of an art gallery may seem an unlikely place to create an emergency shelter. However, Xpace's lower gallery is an ideal setting for Brad Tinmouth's “If Times Get Tough or Even If They Don't,” which evokes a cold-war bunker.

  • Wim Delvoye: Blame it on Paris

    Silk-covered pigs, lattice-cut car tires and a tattooed man are just a few of the works that Belgian artist Wim Delvoye has shuttled into the old, Gothic wing of the Louvre this summer. Jill Glessing reviews, finding a terrific amalgam of high and low.

More Online

Report a problem