Montreal-based artist Renée Duval creates paintings that reflect on the power of natural forms. Renée’s paintings often take trees and flowers as their subjects, splitting and duplicating these subject into novel arrangements that suggest other meanings.
It’s really interesting to see how Renée’s works have evolved since our previous feature of her kaleidoscopic nature paintings. In her recent series of 2017 paintings, the artist uses dense collections of leaves to form the shapes of sculpted busts. These heads and shoulders have only the barest suggestion of features, and yet still each has a strong sense of personality. The density of the figures renders them somehow imposing, an aesthetic which is emphasized by how much space they take up on the canvas, and the blank, blue gradient background as though the viewer is looking up at a figure seen against a dusk sky.
I also really enjoy the works in Renée’s Gods and Monsters series – each painting in this gallery depicts a mythological figure as a tree. The artist’s sense of aesthetic and color language is spot-on, and each plant seems extremely animate.