PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY is pleased to announce representation of Montréal visual artist LAUREN PELC-MCARTHUR.
In her professional practice, Lauren Pelc-McArthur responds to the potentialities of digital culture and addresses its seduction, shallowness, and inherent conflicts of meaning. In the past, her approach to this research has been interdisciplinary. However, her compulsion now is to paint. In painting, she can stress the importance of a physical presence in an exponentially flat-screened society.
Contradiction is an integral part of the artist’s work—implied in subject matter and expressed through many painting styles that coexist on a single canvas. Almost all of the aspects of visual culture are mitigated through screens; she aims to destabilize the act of screen-biased painting through scattering optical effects, which are difficult to see unless the viewer is physically situated with the work. Pelc-McArthur employs a series of techniques to achieve this including the use of paint with matte and glossy films, iridescent pigments, and a technique she calls “normal painting.” The technique is a nod to “normal maps” within 3-D modelling computer programs; a high-chroma, pastel “digital skin” that holds information about a 3-D object’s height, shape, and texture. While the surfaces of the artist’s paintings are generally flat, the “normal” areas are characterized by a pastel impasto application, jutting off the surface and into physical space. The result is a mimicking of the luminosity of computer screens and subtle shifts in color depending on the angle of viewing.
Within Pelc-McArthur's paintings, visual overload, sci-fi tropes, and quasi-psychedelic flotsam and jetsam are all mediated through screen aesthetics to build imagined spaces in states of flux. These spaces serve as fields to explore the potential for creation and annihilation amid technological and organic interconnectivity. She populates these spaces with cyclical imagery, primordial lifeforms, and flora—suggestions of technological apparatuses and transforming humans. All glimpses and iterations of what could be, and what could become of us.
Pelc-McArthur’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and Portugal including: Ignition, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montréal (2019); CHROMAESTHESIA, Eglise St-Enfant-Jésus, Montréal (2019); 2018 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, Power Plant, Toronto; Maureen III, Fonderie Darling, Montréal (2017); Futur futuriste, Projet Pangee, Montréal (2017); Loop Dreams, 201 Mulberry, New York, New York (2016); Chromatic, Hangar 16, Montréal (2016); Super Human, Plus Gallery, Denver, Colorado (2014); Meta, Galeria Municipal De Arte, Abrantes, Portugal; and Simultaneo, Sala De Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City (2014). She was a finalist in the 2018 RBC Canadian Painting Competition and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the 2017 Lillian Vineberg Award In Painting And Drawing, Concordia University; 2016 and 2017 Concordia Merit Scholarship, Concordia University; 2016 Tom Hopkins Memorial Graduate Award, Concordia University; and the 2012 W.O Forsyth Award.
Pelc-McArthur has earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Drawing And Painting, from OCADU in Toronto (2012), and a Masters of Fine Arts from Montréal’s Concordia University (Fall 2019).