Colette Gouin, "Trio," 2003, acrylic on canvas, 48" x 68".
By Jennifer MacLeod
In Seduction by Color, painter Colette Gouin, known to many as Colette Nilsen, offers large canvases filled with vivid florals. There is boldness to these subjects; they spill into the foreground space that typically separates viewer and subject in the traditional still-life perspective. Influenced by friend and New York art critic Clement Greenberg, Gouin says, "My work comes from a modernist tradition characterized by simplicity, clarity and editing."
Gouin's previous non-representational work inspired her to continue exploring materials and unorthodox techniques in her painting. She places her large canvases on the floor and uses her hands to apply the paint, moving around the canvas, letting the paint flow and show off its distinctive properties. Her intrepid combinations of strong colours - burgundies, oranges, blues and purples - are sometimes startling but always subtly balanced and engaging. Based in Vancouver, Gouin studied at the University of Alberta and The Banff Centre, and has attended the Emma Lake Workshop every year since 1985. Seduction by Color runs May 3 to 31, 2003, at Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art in Calgary.