Vancouver Before Christ
Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by André Ethier.
Ethier is known for intensely colored paintings of grotesque, darkly humorous figures set in ambiguous landscapes of color. Almost mystical, and often surrealistic, his paintings recall those of James Ensor for their grotesque qualities and for their non-representational use of colors - which has also won him comparisons to the Fauves. In its mythic, dreamlike qualities, the work also recalls the symbolist works of such artists as Odilon Redon - all while retaining a contemporary tone, with a sense of post-hippy era disillusionment added to its mood of folkloric fantasy.
Vancouver Before Christ presents a series of paintings of fantastical and hallucinogenic scenes. Some represent oblique criticisms - filtered through fantasy - of Western Canadian neglect of history and of native culture, and what he perceives as their supplanting of reality with stoner .culture. A hairy, weary-looking men smokes a joint forlornly with an anxious look in his eyes; a fantastical creature with a woman's body and a birds head lies on a bed of feathers out of which a boney hand reaches; portraits appear to melt drip and distort - in one case into the side of a hill on which lies a naked woman and a skulls head with a tongue coming out of it. A hairy man with a red, bulbous face stands slightly menacingly against a sky, holding a bottle; another, painted in shades of pink, blue and orange, stands naked in front of a luminous cross.
André Ethier lives and works in Toronto, where he was born in 1977. He studied at BFA Concordia University in Montreal and has been exhibited widely, in Canada as well as around the world. He has had solo exhibitions at Greener Pastures, Toronto and Derek Eller Gallery, New York.