Behind the Mirror | Baie Saint-Paul | 2003

Robert Bernier | Revue Parcours

Painting is a unique form of expression; it is not always an easy feat for art amateurs to grasp the true importance of the medium and the weight of its direction and essence. It is in this intricacy that the duality and the complicity between spirit and matter make up a forum of manifestations where both complementary and opposing forces are at play. 

In short, painting is a form of expression which is fantastic because of the rich and diverse concepts that an artist can bring to his explorations, enquiries that are driven by the materials that compose and feed creative potential. In fact, if painting has sought a way to evolve, to not fade into oblivion, it is because painting has adapted and changed with the emergence of new technologies, while maintaining the astuteness to keep tradition alive. Hence an artist who, with time, patience, and perseverance manages to establish his own style and to conceive a particular artistic language, will see that the manner in which he expresses himself is greatly dependant on the medium he uses. This type of « multi-linguism" is not only normal, it is sound: it demonstrates that the artist knows how to excavate all the resources and exploit all the possibilities that another medium, technique, or matter can offer. 

This phenomenon is particularly flagrant in the lacquers created by painter Rene Lemay. This great traveler, this devotee to the mysteries and cultures of Asia, has, through his excursions in the Orient, mastered this ancestral technique. Here too, the passage of time has left its mark, offering this legendary medium new possibilities. In his own way, Rene Lemay contributes to the longevity of this technique by offering innovation and novelty. For more than a year, Lemay has been working on a series of lacquers which will be exhibited for the first time in May 2003 at the Galerie l'Harmattan in Baie St-Paul. The works to be shown, without being miniatures, are of an average size, a choice which is practically imposed by this medium. Lemay reveals himself in this series of works by adopting a palette that differs from the colours in his paintings. Even though there is continuity in his subject matter, the overall effect is totally different. The colours, limpid and rich, are articulated by a vast array of subtle tones, which are at once discrete and present. Even his stroke is different, characterized by fluidity and movement.

In sum, we can infer that this new series will be significant for its ingenuity and its finesse. There is no doubt that these lacquers will take on a primordial importance in the creative expression of this innovative artist.