Many Montrealers know Nicolas Baier’s in situ work: the large – 6,000 square feet! – leafy glass mural installed at Concordia University, high above wandering students. Now there is a chance to see Baier’s latest art up close and personal.
Baier’s Vanitas 2008, an installation of digitally-scanned damaged mirrors, was an eye-catcher at the Musée d’art contemporain’s Triennale 2008. I loved it! Vanitas grabbed your attention. Ink-jet prints of darkened and scratched mirror surfaces were mounted together creating a large statement piece. But the mirrors no longer reflected. You could not see yourself, but you could ‘see’ what you know. For example, in looking closely at one of the scratches, you might ‘see’ a flower. Imagination comes to the fore.
Baier’s new show is called Paréidolies. This title is a perfect description of his art. The word means when the human mind perceives the familiar in the abstract – such as ‘seeing’ a face in a cloud’s shape. Paréidolies, the travelling exhibition of Nicolas Baier’s work, has arrived in Montreal at Galerie René Blouin, the light-filled space in the Belgo Building.
Baier offers an intricate optical originality. His images are carefully composed through the magic of modern technology: Digital scanning. Baier is inspired by all around him – but never humans. In a zen-like way, he finds a cosmic beauty in the smallest moment. His computer failed. The screen turned red. He found this so amazing that he framed the red image, and called it…Failed (2008).
Inspired by a lovely piece of green and orange rock from Tuscany, he scanned it. The enlarged image (Paesina 01) is stunning. His crinkled up and stained bit of brown paper are re-framed, literally; Nuages is lovely, hanging on the main wall of the gallery. The mundane becomes magnificent. Art acts as a mirror to Nicolas Baier. ‘’Objects, people – the smallest surfaces on which our eyes come to rest, are but a reflection of who we are. We only see what we know.’’ This might explain why some gallery-goers swear they ‘see’ Monet’s famed water lilies in one of Baier’s works. Another person sees a labyrinth. Remember when you lay on your back as a child and watched the clouds turn into elephants, or a giraffe? Rush to see Nicolas Baier’s beautiful images. You will have that sense of wonder once again.
Pierre de rêve 1, 2010
With permission from Galerie René Blouin, Montréal
Until October 9, 2010 at
Galerie René Blouin
372 Ste-Catherine Street West
5th floor, # 501
Tuesday – Friday 10 – 5:30 pm
Saturday 11- 5 pm
And by appointment.
STAY AT THE BELGO
After looking sip a cup of tea and try the carrot cake at the Belgo’s main floor café. You will probably see artists (and collectors!) doing the same thing!