Patrick Coutu Deep Waters
Works in the exhibition
Division Gallery is pleased to present Patrick Coutu’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Coutu continues his exploration into the precise scientific patterns that underlie all organic matter, borrowing their structural tenets, and transforming them into an aesthetic system. His new sculptures and two dimensional works are unfixed in time; caught at moments of becoming, they underscore the paradoxically controlled and chaotic evolution of vegetal, mineral, and digital life.
Récif sees the artist playfully literalizing a sculpture garden: bringing together nearly one hundred metal sculptures resembling aquatic and natural life in a vista of organic, flowing forms. Reefs (the English word for Récifs) occupy an important role in the scientific research community, representing some of the densest and most varied ecosystems on Earth. Beginning with simple mathematical equations, Coutu generates a myriad of possibilities within basic coding systems, each sculpture exhibiting a distinct formation while being composed of identical cubic units.
Exposed on their reverse side, the Jacquard works in this exhibition reveal a complex network of threads that converge into a patterned fabric. A weaving invention that enabled for the first time the automatic production of unlimited patterning, Jacquard weaving resulted from the input of information from punched paper that determined the output direction of threads. As such, this weaving process can be understood as an early precursor to the computer. Coutu revels in this connection, utilizing his own computer programming to create artwork from this mechanical weaving system.
With Eaux profondes, the artist’s hand is all but absent. The rough-hewn bas-relief functions as an index of time, its surface cast from an imprint of excavated sedimentary rock. Eaux profondes captures millennia’s worth of slow deposits, providing a snapshot of the earth’s accretion and hinting at the sublime.
Patrick Coutu lives and works in Montreal. His work has been exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada (2008), Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2008), and Musée des Beaux-Arts du Québec (2002). His work can be found in museum collections across Canada and in private collections internationally. In 2016, the Musée des Beaux-Arts du Québec will inaugurate a public sculpture by Coutu in Quebec City.