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"Emerging Quebec painter Gabriel Rioux defies our perception of time, space and the constraints of inner knowledge. His harmonious, yet visually tense paintings offer us a meticulously codified window into the artist’s imagination and subconscious mind. Rioux’s intuitive works, full of symbolism, present an almost canonical composition of spaces delineated by a neat line and a subtle change of shade. Through the depiction of windows and libraries, the artist underlines the infinite possibilities within a limited psycho-geographical space: a room, a night sky, a world of possibilities. Libraries, often resurfacing in his paintings, are symbols that point to the diversity of knowledge and wide spectrum of personal expression. Windows – in a similar vein, give out onto a dimension that extends intriguingly beyond the viewer’s gaze, presenting us with a chance to construct limitless possibilities within our minds." - Sarah Bilson
Gabriel Rioux’s mixed media paintings are heavily influenced by an academic background in literature and philosophy, as well as the artist's observations of everyday life. Through his paintings, Rioux is building a visual language of symbolism that fluctuates between obscurity, abstraction and revelation.
“I try to represent spaces in which existence no longer needs to have meaning, where life can afford to be without a precise purpose. It is a nebulous space that leaves room for several interpretations, partly thanks to its letters and numbers positioned near the elements, as if by way of a label.
Although they are indecipherable, I parch my paintings with clues for the person who would like to try to understand the meaning of my paintings.My goal is to intrigue more than to please. The use of mixed media (oil, acrylic, sharpies, pastels, pencils) represents an incoherence that I try to decipher through my work.”
Les Printemps du MAC, Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal
Archive Collective Magazine