MOTION SENSITIVE AT THE MACKENZIE ART GALLERY (2002)


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MOTION SENSITIVE AT THE MACKENZIE ART GALLERY (2002)

STUDIO SERIES
MARIE LANNOO: MOTION SENSITIVE
April 26 to September 15, 2002

Organized by the MacKenzie Art Gallery with the support of the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the Canada Council for the Arts

Braille may seem an odd choice of subject for a visual artist, but it was precisely this "alphabet for the blind" that has inspired Marie Lannoo’s recent work. Although Lannoo has worked with both abstraction and representation, she has never been fully satisfied with either mode. Braille, as a system that is both visually abstract and socially signifying, offered her something of both. Furthermore, braille provided a physical dimension that has become increasingly important to her painting.

The title Motion Sensitive implies both touch and movement, two operations necessary to read the braille alphabet. In earlier works from this series, touch is implied by physically recessed dots, motion through the passage of the viewer reflected in the high gloss surface. These works are a slow read, requiring time to decipher their inky depths.

In the more recent works the braille dots have morphed into fat doughnuts or scratchy disks. The water resist patterns that lay hidden in the backgrounds of the dark paintings are now a bedazzling surface lacework. Slow looking is replaced by a cursory glance, monochromatic seriousness with decorative glitz. According to the artist, "paint begins to establish its own intrinsic language."

Through these works, Lannoo has found a productive space between abstraction and representation, between modernist gravity and pop-decorative animation. As such, her paintings reinvigorate the traditions of abstraction that have persisted in Saskatchewan now for over four decades.

Timothy Long, Head Curator