GUY LARAMÉE | QUEBRADA and THIRTEEN VIEWS ON A STAY IN BRASIL
Quebrada, book with pigment, 5 x 12 x 7 inches
By The End Of The Day, oil on canvas, 12 x 24 inches
Guy Laramée | Quebrada | Thirteen Views on a Stay in Brasil
December 2022 - January 2023
Guy Laramée's longstanding fascination with Brasil inspires his new Foster/White exhibitions, where he probes questions of belonging and estrangement in a series of atmospheric landscape paintings as well as a group of new sculptures sourced from second-hand bookstores in Florianopolis. Often with mountains or coastlines shrouded in mist, the paintings form a loose, narrative sequence closely associated with the ambiguity between dreaming and waking.
Laramée explains the connection between the paintings and book sculptures by focusing on the linen covers of the books: "...the faded jade tones of the fabric inspired most of my palette for the paintings." The poetics of travel weigh on the artist's mind as he studies questions of identity and belonging: "In traveling between cultures – and countries – something is abandoned, perhaps definitely. What is it? Is it the adhesion to one’s sets of beliefs? Is it the dream of finding a 'perfect world'?"
Explo, book with pigment, 8 x 9.5 x 8 inches
"In Portuguese as in Spanish, the word Quebrada has a double meaning. Literally, it means ‘broken’. But it is also used to designate a ravine, where the landscape gives the impression of being sunken down. Unlike my previous book work, I started each piece by breaking the spine of the book – apparently its most sturdy part. So I formed the book into a curved or broken shape before carving it. I was quite aware of the metaphor while working in this new way: breaking a book is obviously damaging the knowledge it contains. What does this say about our world? After two years of pandemic, we may have started to feel that our civilization is fragile. How long will it last? Some of the book titles evoke that: Paraiso Perdido / Paradise Lost, for example. In a way, our civilization is broken. Can it heal itself or is it bound to make room to a new one? But often times, from stark perspectives stem hope and the will to continue. Thus, using the other meaning of the word Quebrada, I carved those ravines into luxurious landscapes, suggesting that in this sinking down, something of life will go on." - Guy Laramée
Entering The Dream, oil on canvas, 12 x 24 inches
"Over fifteen years, I accumulated about three years in Brasil. My last stay lasted six months. This painting project is an opportunity to encapsulate the feelings that draws one to quit one’s culture, the inner experiences triggered by living in a foreign country. The paintings have a light narrative structure around my last trip in 2022. Each painting has a title that situates it within that narrative. From the first one, Entering the Dream, to the last one, Traveling Between Two Dreams, one questions if one ever comes back from those trips. In traveling between cultures – and countries – something is abandoned, perhaps definitely. What is it? Is it the adhesion to one’s sets of beliefs? Is it the dream of finding a “perfect world”? " - Guy Laramée