Geneviève Cadieux, Vast Still Tender: Ghost Ranch — Laurie Milner

[Winter 2020]

Par Laurie Milner

Is it the greyness of the April afternoon that makes the Rene Blouin Gallery seem so luminous as I enter Geneviève Cadieux’s exhibition Ghost Ranch?1 I had heard the buzz among artists and colleagues that this was a show to be seen – a virtuoso production by an august Montreal artist – and I have come to do just that: to observe the concrete facts of the work, apprehend the artist’s language, and sense the realities it evokes. What strikes me first is the light – it floods the gallery, announcing itself as an essential element in the work.

A monumental photograph in a simple frame leans against a wall in the first room of the gallery; before it, beyond a column, a gilded sphere sits on the floor. I am struck by the simple geometry of the installation – a rectangle and a sphere – and the way it defines and activates the space. The horizontal axis and rectangular shape of the photograph align with the logic of the architecture, while its pitch and mass give it a conditional, bodily presence. The sphere, gilded with gold leaf on one side and palladium on the other, is precisely placed – its demarcated circumference stands perpendicular to the floor and parallel to the photograph. It reflects and refracts the ambient light in the gallery, setting up a dialogue with the photograph, the space, and me…

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1 Geneviève Cadieux, Ghost Ranch, from March 16 to April 27, 2019, at Gallery René Blouin, Montreal.

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