The Painting Project: A Snapshot of Painting in Canada
Julie Bélisle, Louise Déry, Robert Enright, Nicolas Mavrikakis and Jonathan Shaughnessy
Galerie de l'UQAM
364 pp 120 col. ill. 11.5 x 9 in softcover
$50.00 Can. $56.00 U.S.
This ambitious foray into painting as it is practiced throughout Canada today tackles an almost overwhelming subject to discover clearly distinguishable movements and tendencies each with its own characteristics, resources and objectives. Closely reviewing the works of dozens of artists painting today, this generously illustrated publication reveals distinct artistic categories: figures of reality, works emanating from the procedures of figuration and in line with the great painting traditions; fictional worlds, works arising from figurative undertakings with content inspired by cartoons, graphic novels, illustration or the internet; painting as the subject, where through quotation, gesture and abstraction "how to paint" is the subject matter; and, finally, hybrid practices, in which painting develops in osmosis with other art disciplines to produce object-paintings and photograph-paintings. Accompanying the main essay are several original texts exploring different corollaries of this immense topic: the meaning of the human figure in current painting; the exhibition of current painting as a vehicle for the construction of identity; the passage from 20th century painting to 21st century painting; the collection of current painting by national institutions; and the state of painting in Québec. With 120 works reproduced in full colour and complete biographical notices on all participating artists, this authoritative tome is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the redefined space that painting has claimed for itself in the visual arts in the 21st century. In English and French.