Mathieu Beauséjour
Horizon perdu 17 jan.— 16 feb. 2019

Thursday January 17, 2019, 5pm-8pm
artist in attendance

Often one simplifies so as to better grasp something: afterwards, in order to enter into the complexity of things, it becomes necessary to start over again(1).
– Georges Bataille

Point of view: My eyes are 1.60 metre from the ground when I’m standing up. At this height, they could see up to 4.5 kilometres without distortion, which corresponds to the optical limit of the Earth’s curvature. To experience this phenomenon one would have to be standing before the sea, or before a flat stretch of land such as a field in Saskatchewan. There, one can see the distance between one’s point of view and the horizon. This is the space that I sought to represent in these drawings: squares composed according to the rule of thirds, in which only the horizon constructs the pictorial space. A sort of vanishing, rapid and still line. There is nothing else in front. The glorious sky towers over this perspective. Scattered across the gallery space like a series of openings onto darkness, the black landscapes appear as visual obstacles, philosophical emblems and semantic deserts. We will thus have to go beyond the horizon. Maurice(2), a small bronze ladder will lead us along its vertical movement.
Mathieu Beauséjour

Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran is delighted to present Horizon perdu, Mathieu Beauséjour’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. Comprising of drawings, collages, sculptures and videos, the artist’s latest body of work is the result of studio production driven by repeated gestures and a careful management of productive means.

Situated in the margin between resistance, opposition and détournement, Mathieu Beauséjour’s works focus on objects and symbols of power as well as the construction of history. Over the course of his practice, the artist has meticulously and consistently reflected on the place of marginality in a normative world and more specifically here, on constructed spaces and their memorial echoes and reactivations as art objects.

Created during summer heat waves in Montréal, Beauséjour’s drawings examine our shattering world. The perspectives that make up the drawings close in on themselves in darkness. Inversely, the multiple lines drawn in pencil on black paper recall sunrays, endowing the drawings with a luminous quality. These compositions reaffirm the artist’s formal and pictorial research about the interrelation between a centre and its margin, the idea of the series and the image and the repeated gesture to evoke a continuum.

While Caspar David Friedrich painted a myriad of landscapes reaching as far as the eye can see, Beauséjour’s series of twenty-three collages titled Horizons perdus superimposes advertisements for American gay bars from the 1970s and 1980s and reproductions of works by the German painter. This improbable and anachronistic encounter nostalgically evokes the disappearance of the emblematic places of an overshadowed culture, resulting in a veritable duplication of ruins in the romantic ruins. Far from being trivial, the selected advertisements cleverly highlight some landscape elements. Thus, Horizons perdus (The Hole) shows a vast green landscape disfigured by a sand quarry, while Horizons perdus (The Spike) shows the summit of a mountain rising above the clouds. In the second exhibition room, the work No, created from an excerpt of an early 1960s black and white erotic film that the artist bought on eBay, is a video set-up in which one sees a young man shaking his head in refusal. Superimposed and looped, the work shows the man’s blurred head as it moves from left to right in the negation and the repetition of this negation. Finally, with Abandon II : le cinéma, Beauséjour continues a model-making activity in which he recreates, from memory, places that have since disappeared. (3)

Mathieu Beauséjour lives and works in Montreal. His works have been presented at numerous art centres, public and private galleries, biennials, and museums in Canada and Europe. Recent exhibitions include Mathieu Beauséjour: Les formes politiques, Montreal Fine Arts Museum in 2016, La révolte de l’imagination, une rétrospective at the Musée régional de Rimouski in 2015, The Québec Triennial 2011, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and at the Manif d’art 7 de Québec in 2014. Mathieu Beauséjour has been the subject of several exhibition catalogues, the most recent La Révolte de l’imagination was released in March 2015. His works can be found in numerous collections, including the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec as well as corporate and private collections.

To view the artist’s profile, please click here.

(1) Bataille, Georges (2016), La limite de l’utile, Lignes, Paris, p.80. (Our translation)
(2) In alphabetical order, Maurice is the first French masculine first name after Mathieu.
(3) An initial Abandonmodel was shown in the exhibition Rendez-vous at the Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides in the summer of 2017.

The artist would like to thank the Atelier Clark.