Not only is painting alive and kicking, it is gleefully re-visiting figurative and narrative styles with unabashed abandon. With a nod to the famous Parisian Salon des Refusés, these artists are far from being rejected, and many make up the Quebec avant-garde, with gallery representation and wide recognition.
Organized by Décover magazine, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, and bills itself as ‘a showcase for the visual arts (…) opening of street art in all its diversity.’ The exhibition features artists from Daniel Barkley, Mark Lang and Zoltan Veevaete, through Ian Gamache, Isabelle Tremblay and Richard Morin, to Pol Turgeon, Cedric Taillon, Jaber Lufti and Zilon. Graffiti artists rub shoulders with classical figurative painters, with a wide swath in between of a plethora of styles and expressions. On opening night, Zilon stepped into his role of a DJ, unleashing the dark tones of the Clockwork Orange soundtrack on the visiting public.
Hang against a backdrop of black drapery, the paintings jostle for space, styles and mediums mixing and conversing. Curated by artist Francois Escalmel, Les Refuses offers an eclectic assortment of the good, the bad and the ugly. Jean Pronovost Contemporeve is magnificently kitschy, and hung next to Isabelle Tremblay’s exquisitely nuanced palette in Entering pilot school makes the head spin. Drogue, quand tu me tiens is a colourful, childlike graffito, while Gerard Dubois chose to reach into the style of old postcards in his pastel-toned, whimsically titled Gruss vom Kaputt (Krampus).
Run, don’t walk, to see this exhibition before it closes later this month.


Marché St-Jacques
1125 Ontario St East
3rd floor externe)
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