LÉger At Lanoue: Layers Of Beauty

Karine Léger, "Throwing Words," 40” x 48”.


by Lisa Mikulski

The Lanoue Gallery, Boston, presents “New Works by Karine Léger” — a show that will certainly fortify the minds and spirits of gallery goers.

Canadian artist Karine Léger’s large-scale abstracts represent her expression of Quebec winter spaces and Icelandic landscapes. Simple and sparse in both palette and form, Léger’s shapes float across the canvas as if supported by some ethereal means. Each element is fiercely independent and yet these elements come together gracefully to meet, to overlap, or to perhaps pass one another in a journey that continues off the canvas. The work leaves me feeling introspective and imaginative.

Part of the beauty here is the layering Léger employs, producing soft and separate textures that allow each element to exist in its own plane — a technique borrowed from her work with collage. But make no mistake, collage is not a part of the final product and is used only as preparation in the artist’s planning stage.

Her artistic process is comprehensive and exacting. It is not only in Léger’s work, but also in her personal life, that balance is sought. She explained that in the studio, she begins with the need to deconstruct in order to lay the foundations for an introspective reconstruction. Léger collects examples of textures, shapes and colors taken from her own photographs, books and internet imagery. Working with these bits of photos and torn pieces of paper, she meticulously selects and arranges, and rearranges, until she finds the right combination for her expression.

“For the composition part of my work, I am more interested in the search for balance. We all have a quest for équilibre in our lives, and it became obvious to me when I moved out of Montreal to live in a smaller town,” explained Léger. “I had a hard time finding work to support myself and the fear of the unknown produced a lot of anxiety in me. It started to affect my paintings, but the result was actually a positive one. I found that while I could not always control the outside forces of life, my paintings became my own little worlds where I could arrange uncertainly or chaos into the order and balance I craved.”

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