MONTRÉAL, CANADA.- Slowing down the gaze seems to be a mantra for Jérôme Fortin, who makes generous use of both time and paper in creating his monumental wall pieces, consisting of countless rows of folded paper arranged in delicately cut screens. For the past decade or so, this Québec artist has produced remarkable assemblages out of everyday objects, from plastic bottles, employed in his Marines series, to paper recycled into the origami-like Solitudes. The Musée dart contemporain de Montréal presents the exhibition Jérôme Fortin through April 22, 2007.
The exhibition - The new Écrans series, inspired by Japanese Zen gardens, comprises nine large-scale elements that unfurl in an imposing procession through the exhibition space. In it, the artist takes up where he left off in the exhibition LEnvers des apparences presented at the museum in 2005. Made out of ordinary printed matter (sketchbooks, issues of Artforum magazine, posters, manga comic strips, colouring books, Yellow Pages directories and road maps), these works are attached straight onto the wall. They are consequently ephemeral and will be destroyed in the dismantling process, in accordance with the artists wishes.
With repeated gestures, patience and time, Fortin tirelessly develops a work by folding and gluing, turning paper screens into murals, raising seriality to the level of fascination, and producing pictorial spaces in which the viewers readily lose themselves. Exhibition curator Sandra Grant Marchand sums up the artists approach as follows: We are speaking of an oeuvre that brings together the visual experience of a work defined by its materiality and the contemplative experience of a work informed by a kind of immateriality.
Jérôme Fortin - Born in Joliette in 1971, Jérôme Fortin lives and works in Montréal. In less than a decade, he has become one of the most noted artists of his generation. In 2004, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, together with the Association des galeries dart contemporain, awarded him the Prix Pierre-Ayot, which is presented for artistic achievement in the previous 15 years. That same year, he earned an Honourable Mention at the 10th Great Canadian Printmaking Competition sponsored by Ernst & Young and the Canada Art Foundation. He has taken part in such prestigious exhibitions as La Biennale de Montréal, CIAC/Centre international dart contemporain, Montréal (1998); Détournements, Centre des arts actuels Skol and Conseil des arts de Montréal (2003-2005); and LEnvers des apparences (2005). Solo exhibitions include Ici et là/Here and There, Musée dart de Joliette (2002); and, in 2006, Jérôme Fortin: Roche papier ciseau, Open Studio Gallery, Toronto, and Jérôme Fortin Marines/Seascapes, Embassy of Canada, Washington. He is represented by the gallery Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain.
Catalogue - A catalogue providing an overview of his work will come out a few weeks after the opening, so that the site-specific nature of the works in the exhibition can be captured by photographs of the Écrans taken during the installation process. The publication will include essays by curator Sandra Grant Marchand and by Jean-Éric Riopel, editor of Estuaire magazine, as well as a biobibliography and reproductions of the works. It may be purchased for $29.95 at the museums Olivieri Bookstore or from your local bookseller.
Meet the Artist - A meeting with the artist is scheduled for February 21, 2007 at 6 p.m. in the exhibition galleries. The event is free of charge and will take place in French.
Point[s] of View Series - In connection with this presentation, curator Sandra Grant Marchand will take visitors on a tour of the exhibition on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at 6 p.m. The tour will be conducted in French.
The Musée d'art contemporain is a provincially owned corporation funded by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec. It receives additional funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as from Lichen Communications.