October 13, 2012 - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal - Pierre Dorion
October 13, 2012

Pierre Dorion

Pierre Dorion, Intérieur, 2008. Oil on linen.*

Pierre Dorion
October 4, 2012–January 6, 2013

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
185, Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest

(Corner Jeanne-Mance)

Montréal (Québec)
 H2X 3X5


This fall, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is presenting a major exhibition of Québec painter Pierre Dorion. The show covers the last twenty or so years in the career of this leading figure in painting here and across Canada, and is the latest in the MAC’s series of monographic exhibitions devoted to artists of Dorion’s generation. Curated by Mark Lanctôt, Pierre Dorion will be on view at the Musée from October 4, 2012 to January 6, 2013.

Pierre Dorion
Comprising more than seventy pieces produced since 1994, Pierre Dorion offers a critical overview of the painting of this major Montréal artist. While various authors have quite rightly stressed the important role played by photography in the creation of Dorion’s works, this exhibition focuses on their presentation context rather than their production process. Its starting point is a reconstruction of Chambres avec vues, an exhibition mounted by the artist in 1999 in a vacant apartment in the Dauphins sur le Parc building across from Parc La Fontaine in Montréal. There, Dorion made use of installation as a device for presenting his painting, as can be seen in the mise en abyme observed in the work Chambre à coucher, 1999. Notable in this part of the Musée presentation is the development of a dialogue between the physical space where the exhibition takes place and the image of that space. This reconstruction of Chambres avec vues also reveals the roots of the painter’s current approach and the different stages in his practice that have led to the great simplicity which characterizes his work today.

Further on in the exhibition, the hanging of the works adheres more closely to a conventional chronological organization, but interspersed with a few paintings out of sequence. Visitors journeying along this path will be able to observe that since Chambres avec vues, Dorion’s paintings have become increasingly pared down from a formal standpoint. Indeed, we see that the identity and function of the places photographed (in order to then be painted by the artist), and references to their social and cultural history, are rendered in an unadorned style verging on abstraction. The two new polyptychs created in 2012 specially for the exhibition Gate (The Piers) and Sans titre (DB) are prime examples.

The exhibition Pierre Dorion will travel starting in March 2013, with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Museums Assistance Program. The Dalhousie Art Gallery in Halifax will be its first stop.

Born in Ottawa in 1959, Pierre Dorion lives and works in Montréal. Since graduating from the University of Ottawa in 1981, he has shown regularly in Montréal and New York, as well as across Canada and Europe. He is represented by Galerie René Blouin in Montréal, Diaz Contemporary in Toronto and Jack Shainman Gallery in New York. In addition to the numerous solo exhibitions that have been devoted to the artist over the past thirty years, a number of major artistic events, such as Aurora Borealis in 1985, have included his work. Noteworthy among his solo exhibitions are Auto-portraits: 1990-1994 at the Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal, in 1994; Solo: La peinture de Pierre Dorion at the Galerie d’art du Centre culturel, Université de Sherbrooke, in 2002; and Pierre Dorion: Painting and Photography at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in 2010.

In connection with this exhibition, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal has published Pierre Dorion, a 180-page catalogue illustrated by 140 colour plates. The publication contains three essays: “Untitled (Pierre Dorion)” by Mark Lanctôt, curator of the exhibition; “The Moving. Abstraction and Emotion in the Art of Pierre Dorion” by David Deitcher and “Pierre Dorion: Spaces of Estrangement” by Stephen Horne.

*Image above:
Pierre Dorion, Intérieur, 2008. Oil on linen. Purchased with the support of the National Bank Private Wealth 1859 Collectors Symposium 2008. Collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. 

Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
Share - Pierre Dorion
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York