Gary Michael Dault's Globe and Mail review of Anne Bertoin
Anne Bertoin’s “Fractured Visions” enjoyed a lively and successful opening at Craig Scott Gallery on Friday evening, January 12, 2007. The next day, a highly positive review of Bertoin’s paintings and sculptures appeared in the Globe and Mail’s weekend edition, written by a doyen of Canadian art critics, Gary Michael Dault. Bertoin’s exhibition runs until February 4.
The text of the Dault review is below:
Gary Michael Dault, Review of Anne Bertoin’s “Fractured Visions” at Craig Scott Gallery (Jan 12 – Feb 4, 2007), The Globe and Mail, Saturday, January 13, 2007, p. R8 (Weekend Review section)
Anne Bertoin was born in Lyon, educated in Paris and, since 1988, has been living and working in Montreal. This is her first solo exhibition in Toronto.
She calls her exhibition Fractured Visions. It’s made up mostly of paintings, but also includes a handful of quite impressive sculptures made of resin, which has been expressionistically pounded and pummeled into attenuated lengths of worn and knobby bone-like forms the colour of antique ivory. A few of these propped or trailing bone-works, like her Samothrace, clearly suggest historic artifacts. Others, like Elle et lui, look like sinister discoveries from some haunted archeological dig.
Some of the paintings are stupendous. Given the degree to which they bend their maelstrom energies toward the suggestion of vast, derelict industrial spaces and structures, somebody’s bound to bring up the dead-tech photographs of Edward Burtynsky or the tragic cultural Gotterdammerung incarnated by German superstar Anselm Kiefer.
But Burtynsky’s photos live in the panoramic here and now, and Kiefer’s huge mudslide eloquence is tethered to a nationalistic past. Bertoin’s dizzying paintings, by contrast, situate themselves somewhere either in the realms of the mythic subconscious, the industrial id, or somewhere in the distinctive present of the personally apocalyptic imagination. Some of her paintings, like the breathtaking Velodrome or Amphithéatre, are so splashed and flung (the acrylic-like vinylique paint she uses is as thin as watercolour), the paintings seem to have come struggling toward themselves without the artist’s knowledge. It makes them feel all the more persistent, venerable and disturbing.