March Portfolio // NATALIE REIS

presented by Émilie Grandmont-Bérubé
emg_portfolio mars
Émilie Grandmont-Bérubé
Émilie Grandmont-Bérubé is actively involved in the cultural community and the visual arts. She holds degrees in both French Literature and Art History and is co-owner and director of Galerie Trois Points since 2009. Currently President of the Contemporary Art Galleries Association (AGAC), she also sits on the board of the Art Dealers Association of Canada (ADAC) and the Young Associates of Opéra de Montréal, in addition to being a member of various juries.

Natalie Reis
Born in 1981, Natalie Reis lives and works in Montreal. She received prices and distinctions while pursuing her MFA at the University of Waterloo (Canada). Reis has shown her work in numerous collective and solo exhibitions in Canada and the US. Her work is also part of private and public collections in Canada. Reis has been represented by Galerie Trois Points since 2008.

My art practice begins with the accumulation and appropriation of found imagery. By creating an illusionary environment in which I mingle and merge icons, symbols and references from mythology, art history, news and popular culture, I attempt to disarm the viewer’s sense of perception, while demonstrating a clear interest in the ambivalence between reality and fiction. My most recent work festures a muted palette, devoid of colour and saturation. Feral foliage and floral groupings allow for a fractured cubist space, coupled with precarious middle grounds and moments of bad painting amidst viscosities of mucus and paint.

This particular body of work contextually appropriates the long venerated history of floral painting, while referencing the tradition of Vanitas and Tondo painting styles. Images of venomous bouquets reference the history of women and their relationship to still life painting, herbalism and the taboos of maternity and how these metanarratives are cultivated in our subconscious and polarized through a contemporary lens. There is a phase in the history of art where women were permitted to paint still-lifes but weren’t allowed to paint figures. So, the flowers point to historical rules. Intimacy is channelled by political and social provocations, leaving the content of these works intentionally critical, rather than positive — a characteristic that marks much of the postmodern movement of our time.

The same notions are addressed, when images are pulled from current media and appropriated in my work. These unmediated images are isolated into singular portraits, and are intended to compromise the viewer, leaving them to contend psychological slippages and formal obscenities under the conventions of painting and drawing. I like the viewer to be catch in that state of in-betweenness, between the abject and the seducing, questioning their own sensibility with some form of criticism.