Concert Cartier, Paintings 30 x 40

Nicole Tremblay: Elegant Odalisques

Coming to Agora Gallery this summer is the solo exhibition of Canadian artist Nicole Tremblay. In Tremblay’s paintings, her female subjects take on a presence that is larger than life. “I have always been fascinated by the presentation of women,” the artist says, “and the inspiration that they represent in art, as far back as the art of ancient Greece.”

While a historical view of women is present in Tremblay’s images, what is most impressive in her work is how she transforms that view into something totally contemporary. Combining clear outlines with soft, lush colors and textures, she depicts subjects who are at once iconic and individual. They have a serenity and composure that solidly grounds each painting, but they also have a direct immediacy and physical presence. There is a subtle, almost hypnotic power to their gazes, whether they seem to be looking out at the viewer or musing to themselves.

Having started as an apprentice in her father’s studio as a child, Tremblay used that experience to develop an acute sensitivity to materials and a finely developed approach to craft. The strong lines in her work, along with her eye for subtle coloring, result in compositions that are both balanced and dynamic, creating a constant level of visual variety that always finds its way back to the women at the center of each painting. There is a sense of focus in her work that brings both stained glass and tapestries to mind, with a skilled pairing of precision and complexity to powerfully channel the artist’s energy.

That visual variety is enhanced by the combination of media that the artist puts to use. Painting in acrylics on canvas, Tremblay also brings sand and gold leaf into the mix, giving her images a tactile quality that contrasts nicely with the coolness of her “elegant odalisques,” and gives her images their unique emotional force.

Her works will be on display at Agora Gallery in a solo exhibition entitled Sovereign Women / Femmes Souveraines from May 19th – June 9th, with an opening reception on April 30th, 2015. For more information, please visit www.Agora-

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