Vers la Lumière A Solo Show of Work by Paul M. Cote

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For Immediate Release

Vers la Lumière
A Solo Show of Work by Paul M. Cote

April 19, 2011 - May 10, 2011
Reception: Thursday, April 21, 2011

Art Approach Is please to announce a solo exhibition of works by Paul M. Cote at the Agora Art Gallery, New York City. In his upcoming solo exhibition entitled Vers la Lumiere, painter and artiste extraordinaire Cote establishes himself once again as an artistic force to be reckoned with. A powerful painter Cote's overture places him with the likes of Julian Schnabel, Pollock, and Helen Frankenthaler. Yet, while Cote's paintings have the swirling energy of many abstract works, they also suggest something quite different: the murmuring of numerous voices beneath each layer. The artist’s work has changed greatly over the years, and is seldom truly abstract. He courageously goes beyond the given and familiar, pioneering new techniques and materials in order to expand his own vision. Heavy, multi-layered surfaces and mixed media prevail in his earlier works, where pigmented colors exaggerate texture that resembles vigorously worked cement. The works in Vers la Lumière reference a moment when numerous artists used an exaggerated physicality to circumvent the emotionalism of Abstract Expressionism—from the Fontana’s punctured canvases to Dubuffet surfacing his with dirt. Cote’s work takes us back to our very beginnings, before written laws, received wisdom, and force of habit, all but shackled our individual creativity and freedom of expression.

Many of the works in Vers la Lumière are exemplary of Cote’s penchant for monolithic, eccentric, dynamic forms, and bursts of emotion. His art is impulsive but not violent—and more seductive than confrontational. Cote's works don’t want to assault you, but suck you into their oceanic swirl, carry you along for the ride. The magic emerges in the tension between control and spontaneity, and the result is invariably surprising, open-ended, poetic, and spiritual. In the majority of works the artist creates a foreboding explosion and presence at the canvas center. By adding a facial mask at the center of the canvas, Cote's paintings become sculptural wall pieces. The profile of an ambiguous face appears at the center of the dense storm of brushstrokes, drips and swirls, contrasting tranquility and meditation  of the face with the movement and drama of the foreground. While the painting’s background can be read as representing past, present, future, the existence of the brilliantly embedded face, signals a rich interior. A master of color, Cote is equally adept in his use of pure white. In "4 Elements" using white to both invade and neuter the surrounding cacophony of colors, the artist’s intent is to block out the outside world in order to give the viewer space in which to roam freely.                   

Cote's work impacts ours senses, awakens our emotional memory, and empower us to see the universe and beyond. He teaches us that a painting should not end on the canvas. It should encourage viewers to create worlds of their own. And with each and every brushstroke, the work of Cote allows us to do just that.

For further information on the work of Paul M. Cote please go to or contact Art Approach