The show, Haydarpasa Railway Station: Past. Present and Uncertain Future, was a cultural event seeking to raise international awareness about the Haydarpasa Station. The beautiful building, opened in 1906, is on the 2012 Watch List of the World Monument Foundation. Canadian and Turkish artists participated in the show, which collected funds for the preservation of the station. Rioux, a digital artist, created a wonder-world; shapes inspired by Haydarpasa but emanating entirely from his imagination. The amazing grace of his monoliths form ‘streets’ with a precision not alike that of Haussmann’s Parisian avenues. He ‘straightened out’ the Byzantine meanderings of this ancient Turkish metropolis with his sophisticated geometry. The eye is drawn to a massive block, which then leads one further to the horizon where the hint of a dome suggests Hagia Sophia, Istanbul’s famed mosque-now-museum. The allure of his matrix-mode art is that the ‘streets’ could also be waterways in Venice, Italy; or, indeed, wherever your mind’s eye takes you. In that, Rioux’s images are a global statement, which, like the event itself, suggest the past, present and an uncertain future.

Hommage to Oscar Niemeyer. In homage to the famous architect’s recent passing at age 104, Paul-Émile Rioux created a new series. ‘‘Much of my work is inspired by buildings. I discovered Niemeyer’s work when I was about 9 years old, and then realized that buildings could be lines, and not just ‘wedding cake layers’,’’ explained Rioux. Based on the renowned architect’s landmark buildings such as Brasilia, the artist used his software-brush to design a logical fantasy city. In his Homage, the artist does not ignore nature. He seamlessly juxtaposes textures of water and grass beside the eloquent equations of his manufactured universe; one in which monoliths rise gracefully in mock utopian panoramas with their linear quietude.

Homage à Niemeyer. Paul-Émile Rioux.
Pigment prints. 111,75 x 111,75 cm. Landscape of 254 x 111,75 cm

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April 1 – 30, 2013.
Saturdays and Sundays: Noon – 5 p.m.
1850 Notre-Dame West (corner des Seigneurs)
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