Canadian Fine Art
May 29 — June 03, 2021
Auction begins to close at 8:00 pm ET
Private Collection, Montreal, QC
The pointillism begun by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac was brought to its fullest expression by Ulysse Comtois. Fascinated by the energy that could be created by chromatic juxtapositions, by the 1970s Comtois began exploding the tight precision of his predecessors, releasing any sense of figuration or narrative in favour of pure buzzing sensation.
Expressing an interest in revisiting Mondrian's legacy, Comtois returned to two-dimensional painting after a decade spent working with welded metal and wood. Mondrian is oft remembered for his formal vocabulary of primary colours and values as well as his self-confinement to strict, gridlike compositions, but some of his earliest landscape work included forays into pointillism. Comtois’s vast colourfields echo both Mondrian’s early technique and his signature organizing grids, cleverly fusing the artist’s young career with his mature style.
Ever original, Comtois’s softened Mondrian’s influences within his own work, as if viewing them through a kaleidoscopic lens. He cannily tethered his work to the material world by way of his titles, lest the viewer float away on a sea of abstraction. The evocative Couleurs d’Été (lot 28) and Au Jardin en Automne (lot 27) bring to mind memories of seasonal light and foliage, and thus, in their expressionistic way, cleave towards the rich Canadian landscape tradition, and swing back around to Mondrian’s early work.
The work is in very good condition with minor condition issues. Please contact us for a detailed condition report.
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