From November 7th to November 24th, 2019, Thompson Landry Gallery presents What would I be without you, the most ambitious exhibition to date by Montréal painter, Mathieu Laca. This exhibition, featuring 30 works in all, predominantly featuring large-scale portraits of dissociable couples whose relationships have changed the course of history. Laca depicts human experiences with the psychological depth unraveled by his bold impasto technique.
Born in Laval, Québec in 1982, Mathieu Laca evokes historical characters, figures and artists from his personal pantheon. Using oil paint to createtension between a represented reality and the conditions of its representation, Mathieu Laca’s paintings are based in fantasy. He paints his subjects instinctively, based on what he feels like highlighting in their personality, what they create, and by gradually adjusting colors and textures. 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.”
Laca is interested in unconventional portraiture, which has little to do with resemblance. He explains that “portraits are the most effective mirrors,” communicating in the most immediate way possible. Laca’s newest, What would I be without you series, highlights partners forced in the shadows because of restrictive social and moral norms. It illustrates self-effacement in the name of love; abnegation that carries one—at the expense of the other—to the highest peaks. He depicts the generosity or nobility of these human experiences with psychological depth and nuance thanks to his delirious and distinctive impasto and splashing techniques. The exhibition offers viewers portraits of human genius while revealing the hidden faces of sacrifice.