darcia labrosse

Powdercoated steel, copper and aluminum, watercolors

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darcia labrosse


Labrosse was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, from Swiss descent. Her parent’s apartment housed the now defunct Montreal art gallery, VISUA. She grew up surrounded by paintings by Riopelle, Borduas, Cosgrove, the Group of Seven and Inuit soapstones and prints, an unknown art form at the time. Early in life, she understood the mysteries surrounding gallery space: it was sacred. Art shaped who she was to become.

Labrosse graduated from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts in film and photography; her short films quickly won her critical acclaim. Further studies at Concordia University’s Visual Arts Program, in lithography and painting, led her to question the very meaning of painting and its inherent medium, and the “intimate subjective space we live in, but beyond the other side of appearance.” *

In the past, Labrosse has been involved in the literary world, working as an editor, translator, writer and illustrator. She has published over forty books for children in the houses of HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hyperion and Random House in the US and the UK. She has also been a pillar in the design of the Artificial Intelligence semantic engineering Internet project IEML (Information Economy Meta Language) at the Collective Intelligence Lab at the University of Ottawa and for INTLEKT Metadata in Montreal.

* Anthony Gormley, sculptor


Artist Statement

Introduction I have been a children’s book illustrator for 30 years, having published 40 books translated in twelve countries. I have been painting full-time in the past decade. I use an industrial paint (powdercoating) and I have a studio for that activity in the forest of Cantley, Quebec. Parallel to painting, I have been experimenting with sculpture, steel, plasma and lasercut metals like aluminum in the past years. I now need a bigger space to draw and build maquettes, to create new sculpture, and possibly public art projects. Artist statement In this era of transhumance and deterritorialization, my work is a trace left by a performance in a factory setting, far from the habitual painting studio space. In contrast to an actual ritualistic praxis, I use a highly sophisticated medium: electrostatic paint, also known as powdercoating, on sheets of aluminum, copper or Cor-ten steel. The process is fast and conducive method that facilitates immediacy of thought and feeling, challenging a fine line between figure and abstraction, traveling from the unconscious to the conscious. Electromagnetic fields as a phenomenon, a life force and a binding agent, have become a unique and essential partner in my creative activity. My paintings are essentially intuitive, gestural, vitalist action-paintings willfully branching out from the Abstract Expressionist tradition, primarily because of “its fierce attachment to psychic self-expression…less a style than an attitude”*. Overcoming the gravity of representation, automatism and acquired reflexes, I mix brute force and translucid emotions to paint an ontological, disquieting, enigmatic human figure free from artifice, universal in its expression. *ART Speaks, Robert Atkins, Abbeville Press, 1990, p.34

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