“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”– Lao Tzu
Profuse colours and textures that make reference to nature, instinct, and pop culture characterize Hugo Sabourin’s work. He uses codified symbols, universal graphic language, the perceptibility of compositional layers, and specific motions performed to alter the work.
His creative process is anchored in motion: a primal impulse. This inexplicable order, one according to which nature operates and our instinct is expressed, is devoid of emotion and intent. Despite the act of contemplation forming a fundamental part of his process, it is interrupted when he actively and reflexively intervenes by using the raw materials and makeshift implements that are immediately available to him. He alters and uses these objects that surround him, which in turn gives him free rein in his process. By leaving the variables of daily life to chance, his directions guide him to given formats, paints, colours and textures.
In an ongoing thought process about interdependency, Sabourin puts his resilience to the test of the artwork’s unpredictability. He refuses to use materials which provide foreseeable, measurable results, and that lead into a fixed process. In this way, he purposely submits himself to an ongoing exercise of flexibility and radical adaptation. The artwork’s resilience is put to the test, much like the artist’s unpredictability, his fleeting impulses, and their trajectories.
In his relationship with the environment, Sabourin observes and witnesses how the elements are affected by human intervention. He repeats this process by subjecting his works to the sequelae of his own daily life by trampling them, stretching them across the floors of his home for periods of time, or by experimenting on them with motions that recall childlike explorations of matter. He scrapes his artworks with assorted objects or even other canvases, and explores devices such as folding and superimposing. These ‘actions’ are instinctive and precipitated; they are motions he employs in attempting to desacralize the creative act while simultaneously validating destruction and ageing as integral aspects of his artistic process.
Anti-sophistication is upheld as a legitimate aesthetic. It breaks apart the codes and conventions generally associated with artistic process and presentation. One such method is working in series, with sporadic experimentation, and technical disinhibition. The finishing process requires interacting with the artwork on a daily basis and allowing for spontaneous interventions, with the objective of attaining compositional balance. In turn, this process results in the artist’s acclimation to the artwork in a context removed from the romanticized ‘artist’s studio’.
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Aug 29 - Sept 17
Thursday, August 29, 5–8pm
(613) 789 7145
293 Dalhousie, Suite 103
Ottawa, ON K1N 7E5