Saskatoon-born artist Luanne Martineau has made a name for herself with her virtually indescribable hybrid felt and wool sculptures. Human, animal and organic, all at once, they produce an experience that wavers between fascination and repulsion, the microscopic and the macroscopic. The Musée dart contemporain de Montréal
presents the exhibition Luanne Martineau from February 4 to April 25, 2010.
Form Fantasy, 2009, for example, made of industrial felt, needle-felted wool and thread, looks like a soft industrial chair set on a museum base, with a grotesque figure sitting on top of it. The body recalls one of Barnett Newmans zips, and the head, a Duchamp-style wheel, with a hole in the middle like a Cyclops eye.
Martineau has been challenging the underpinnings of American avant-garde art since the 1950s, in works that abound in references to Abstract Expressionism, Postminimalism, feminism and popular culture. As she breaks down the boundaries between figurative and abstract, art and craft, Martineau skilfully creates a tension between her unsettling subjects and her use of soft, pastel-coloured craft materials. The results are definitely disconcerting. Get ready for works that tackle issues dealing with the aesthetic, the social and the psychological, and do it with a light, humorous touch.
The exhibition will give visitors a chance to explore Martineaus astonishing world through a dozen recent works produced between 2004 and 2009: an artists book, drawings, sculptures and what she calls drulptures, a unique combination of the latter two art forms.
Luanne Martineau lives and works in Victoria, British Columbia, where she teaches art theory and drawing at the University of Victoria. Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1970, she studied at the Alberta College of Art & Design and the University of British Columbia. She was short-listed for the Sobey Art Award in 2009 and her works are to be found in a number of collections, including those of the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, which owns three of the pieces shown in the exhibition: the sculpture The Body, 2006, and the artists book Freakout (Temporal Bodies) and the drawing Untitled, both from 2007. Martineau is represented by Jessica Bradley Art Projects, in Toronto, and TrépanierBaer, in Calgary.