Approach the work of Andrée Levesque with calm attentiveness, but be prepared to move as you search for an image in the larger pieces in the artist’s solo show at the WAG this month.
Andrée has turned drawing into a ritual in her art practice. She gets up at 5 a.m. every morning and completes one drawing in her sketchbook using sparse but precise black lines to define her subject. Her daily creations, which are reminiscent of Picasso’s deceptively simple line drawings, depict actual scenes, but more often come from her subconscious memories of human figures.
For this exhibition Andrée has chosen to show a sampling of her pen and ink line drawings of the past year. Some are hung in unadorned black frames, or hung unframed and mounted behind Plexiglass, simple presentations that do not detract from their content. Others, to which colour has been added, are mounted in an even more Spartan fashion on Bristol boards. Andrée decided to use a new medium—pastel—on the latter drawings, working with the chalk like a sculptor in a very tactile way to define the surface of the shapes, or letting her movements create detail spontaneously. In them she has dispensed with her usual colour palette of neutrals, blue and sunrise pink to embrace the entire colour spectrum.
Moving into riskier territory are the medium and large Plexiglass pieces on display. In looking for new modes of expression Andrée has turned to engraving. Here’s how she describes these works: “It’s not like stained glass. It’s just lines filled with colour.” In addition, Andrée has made a transparent black backing that allows the easels, on which some of the pieces are placed, to be seen as shadows. These works are meant to interact with walls, windows, whatever is behind or around. To see the engraved images on the Plexiglass surface, viewers must move from side to side and up and down, searching for areas that capture the light.
The Zen Place runs from September 4 to September 29 with an opening reception on September 19, 5-7 p.m..