Thompson Landry Gallery is thrilled to introduce the newest artist to our roster, Mathieu Laca, in his debut exhibition Face to Face, running from July 21st– August 12th, 2018 in the Stone Distillery Gallery. Mathieu Laca's work challenges traditional portraiture though the manipulation of his chosen medium, oil paint, giving new life to historical figures from Friedrich Nietzsche and Margaret Atwood to John Adams and Guido Molinari. He blurs the line between figuration and abstraction to challenge notions of traditional portraiture: "I see my paintings as visual tales of a world without constraints." In this most recent body of work, Face to Face focuses on writers, including Charles Bukowski, Margaret Atwood, Michel Tremblay and more.
Mathieu Laca is interested in unconventional portraiture that has little to do with resemblance. He feels that "portraits are the most effective mirrors," communicating in the most immediate way possible. Laca explains that soon as we are born, we begin to interact with our surroundings through expressions. This early education allows us to instinctively read the smallest subtleties of a psyche through visual cues. By altering these features, Laca is able to manipulate the narrative of the painting, using "models as the characters of a play, by imposing pictorial events worthy of a staging."
The artist evokes historical characters, intellectuals and artists from his personal pantheon. Accumulating black and white photographs of his sources of inspiration, he is allowed the freedom to use any colour palette. From these references, Laca paints his subjects instinctively, based on what he would like to highlight in their personalities, gradually adjusting his colours and textures.