DENIS CHIASSON, Musical-Melancholy
Webster Galleries, Calgary
February 3 - 24, 2007
By Dina O'Meara
Quebec-based artist Denis Chiasson, a self-professed perfectionist, first makes a sketch of his subject, transfers it to the canvas, then fills in the space inside the black lines. “When I paint, it’s like colouring a drawing,” Chiasson says. “Everything must be perfect and well-balanced. The lines are very important.” The inspiration for Musical-Melancholy was an exploration of his own painting process, which is neither sad nor cerebral, but intensely contemplative. “Sometimes writers write about writing, sometimes I paint about painting,” he says. Chiasson’s contemporary tableaux of introspective young women and couples are reminiscent of Matisse, in their bold colours and strong lines. The 38-year-old artist draws what he knows, using and reusing images and props in different paintings to build a private, comfortable universe. White space isn’t welcome in his world. Rather, Chiasson likes to fill the canvas with his subject and layer subtle texture and colours around her. It’s like building a set for a play, he says. “Everything is interconnected, like a brick in a wall,” Chiasson notes. “It might seem unimportant but everything plays a strong role.”
Represented by: Webster Galleries, Calgary; Rendez-Vous Art Gallery, Vancouver; Exclusive ArtForms, Lancaster, ON; Willow Gallery Toronto; Galerie La Corniche, Chicoutimi, QC ; The Leyton Gallery of Fine Art, St. Johns, NF.