Shrine is excited to announce the opening of Yves Tessier, a solo exhibition of new paintings by the Canadian-born artist who maintains studios in both Montreal and New York City.
Across the planet, for better or worse, people now live tethered to their computers and cell phones– devices providing us the means to document every aspect of our own lives and the ability to absorb the constant influx of other people's experiences. We witness the daily minutiae, momentous events and private lives of loved ones and strangers alike. Life can now be lived (and viewed) from behind a camera lens or through a phone screen, obliterating the complex subtleties and nuances of actual human interaction and flattening our perception of our natural surroundings. The intimate worlds of our friends are glanced for a few seconds and then swiped away, no matter whether they are presented in shockingly graphic detail or mundane bursts of repetitive video loops.
Like us all, Yves Tessier relishes in these moments. However, instead of focusing on a temporary, virtual exploration, he chooses to meticulously document the individuals and experiences he comes across on the streets of New York, finds waiting ripe for appropriation on television and the internet, or creates in his imagination. Through careful observation mixed with a sly sense of humor, Tessier riffs on these random narratives adding a compelling humanity to the characters and scenes he depicts. Utilizing casein paint, a medium derived from milk casein that dates back to the ancient Egyptians, on aluminum panels, he creates flattened interior and exterior spaces inhabited by a wide array of human exchanges and silent meditations, which feel both banal and provocative at the same time. The use of real earth pigments and the quick-drying, matte nature of casein lend a very painterly touch to Tessier's figures and backdrops, quietly counteracting the cartoon outlines and exaggerated features found in his work. A sophisticated sense of color, patterning and multiple layers of underpainting add a psychological and emotional element to these paintings, which appear deceptively simple at first glance but slowly unfold into complex statements on the human condition.
Yves Tessier (b. 1955) has exhibited his work in Canada, the United States and England at venues including The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Montréal, QC), Art Gallery of Hamilton (Hamilton, ON), Optica, Articule, CLARK Galleries (Montréal, QC), Toronto International Art Fair (Toronto, ON), NEXT: Chicago Art Fair (Chicago, IL), Louis B. James Gallery (New York, NY) and The Foundry (UK). His work has been reviewed in the National Post, Le Devoir, Canadian Art, Curate NYC, and Frieze Magazine.