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Pierre Dorion



11 January – 12 March 1995

Since 1990, Montréal artist Pierre Dorion has been developing a series of work that reflects the tension that exists between different traditions of painting. Taking the form of self-portraits, these works highlight painting's representational function, while simultaneously referencing traditions of abstraction which negate any referential content and emphasize, instead, the priority of the act of painting. Dorion's Autoportraits investigate the relationship between the formal possibilities of the painted surface and the image which freeze a specific state of being.

Making a significant departure from traditions of portraiture, the figure in Dorion's work eludes any revelation about the artist's subjectivity, and instead seems to present only an imitation of his appearance situated within an ambiguous representational space. In the past two years, Dorion has begun to incorporate found objects and materials onto the surfaces of his paintings, thereby moving the 'representation' into 'real' space.

This exhibition features a selection of Dorion's most recent self-portraits and introduces a new body of work, which the artist has begin the last year, and never exhibited. These new works shift from representation of the interior space of the self-portraits to specific exterior places and their relationship to history.

This exhibition and accompanying catalogue are presented with the assistance of the Canada Council and the Ontario-Québec Commission for Cooperation through the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation.
Art Gallery of York University | Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street | Toronto ON M3J 1P3 | agyu [at] yorku.ca