with the collaboration of: Banque d'oeuvres d'art du Conseil des arts du Canada, Sun Life Financial, collection Robert Côté, collection Robert Chénier, McCarthy Tétrault, Galerie Art-Mûr, Parisian Laundry, Galerie Division, Galerie René Blouin.
To transform three into two dimensions is for me an experience full of magic in which I glimpse for a moment that fourth dimension which my whole being is seeking. – Max Beckmann
Between the Cracks (Picturing the Fourth Dimension) explores the idea that paintings, with their intrinsic intermingling of time and space, can serve as vehicles to another dimension. It takes as its point of departure a passage from a 1938 lecture by Max Beckmann in which he suggests that in the irreconcilable task of translating a three-dimensional world onto a two-dimensional plane, artists will, on occasion, unlock the fourth dimension. Beckmann’s basic premise is that the failures to create a rationally readable pictorial surface provide the ruptures or glitches in the system that can lead us into deeper, transcendent spaces: the cracks.
My initial first-hand experience of a deeper dimension in a painting dates to my adolescence in London (Ontario), when I happened upon Jack Chambers' Olga and Mary Visiting (1964-1965) at the local library, a marvelous domestic scene that warps into a dreamy netherworld. One of my interests in conceiving this show was to cross over normal stylistic boundaries, revealing how realism and abstraction can deliver similar kinds of suspended states.
Introduced by a Philip Guston drawing, this exhibition brings together the works of 14 contemporary painters who to my mind, each in their own way, follow Max Beckmann’s dictum of transcending space and time, by offering us fascinating and insoluble imagery: Barry Allikas, Melanie Authier, John Boyle, Anthony Burnham, Cynthia Girard, Nicolas Grenier, Pierre Dorion, Renée Duval, Dil Hildebrand, Jennifer Lefort, Michael Merrill, Leopold Plotek, Carol Wainio et Etienne Zack.
[excerpts from a text by David Elliot]