February 16, 2012 - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal - Valérie Blass
February 16, 2012

Valérie Blass

Valérie Blass, “Cargo culte,” 2011.
Metal stand, wooden, rattan, plastic and ceramic
objects, Hydrocal FGR gyspum cement, acrylic,
enamel paint, 154.5 × 122 × 127 cm.
Collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de
Montréal. Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay.

Valérie Blass 
2 February–22 April 2012

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
185, Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Montréal Qc H2X 3X5



From February 2 to April 22, 2012, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is presenting a solo exhibition by Valérie Blass, one of the most exciting artists to have emerged from Québec over the past decade. She has helped to restore sculpture to its rightful place in the history of contemporary art for a new generation of artists. Her practice, which is sculpture in every sense of the word, consists of creating encounters between her own body and the objects she creates, between one sculpture and another, between the physical presence of the viewer and that of the works in a space.

Employing the full range of sculptural techniques—from moulding, casting, carving and modelling to assemblage and bricolage, she creates strange, hybrid objects and explores the territories between animal, human and inanimate forms. Her practice is rooted not only in the classical tradition of sculpture in its use of figuration, verticality and a human scale but also in the material culture of the twenty-first century, as is apparent in the diversity of her materials and the plethora of mass-produced, bought and found objects she uses.

The exhibition, a survey of Blass’s oeuvre over the past fifteen years, comprises some thirty-five pieces, including no fewer than fifteen brand-new works straight from the artist’s studio. The presentation also features works from the Musée Collection: Cargo culte (2011), Femme panier (2010) and Étant donné, le Loris perché sur son socle néo-classique (2008). Femme panier was recently acquired by the museum with the support of the National Bank Private Wealth 1859 Collectors Symposium 2010.

Valérie Blass, born in Montréal in 1967, holds an MA in Visual and Media Arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Since she was involved in the first Québec Triennial in 2008 at the MAC, where her art attracted a great deal of attention, interest in her work and her approach has continued to grow in Québec, Canada and abroad. She has taken part in numerous group exhibitions (C’est ce que c’est, National Gallery of Canada in 2010, and Chimère/Shimmer, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and Nothing to Declare at Power Plant in 2009) and solo shows (Petit losange laqué veiné, Parisian Laundry in 2011 and Une fois de trop, Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art in 2009) in Montréal and across Canada. In 2012, Blass will participate in the exhibition Oh, Canada presented at MASS MoCA.

The exhibition was curated by MAC curator Lesley Johnstone. It is accompanied by a 152-page publication, with essays by Johnstone and by art historian Amelia Jones, professor and Grierson Chair in Visual Culture at McGill University, Montréal. The catalogue also contains an interview with the artist by Wayne Baerwaldt, Director/Curator, Exhibitions at the Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD), a list of works and a bio-bibliography. This publication was made possible thanks to the participation of ACAD and funding from the RBC Foundation. The exhibition will go on tour in the summer of 2012.

In addition to the exhibition Valérie Blass, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is also showing, until April 22, two other solo shows by artists Ghada Amer and Wangechi Mutu.

The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is a provincially owned corporation funded by the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine du Québec. It receives additional funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts. The museum gratefully acknowledges their support and that of Collection Loto-Québec, the MAC’s principal partner.

Source and information:                                                                 
Wanda Palma, MACM                                                                    
Head of Public Relations                                                
T 514-847-6232

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Valérie Blass at the MAC
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
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