Since the early days of her art practice, Marie-Josée Laframboise’s work has been concerned with a very particular use of space. As a sort of artist-engineer, -architect and -mathematician, she gives form to concepts, creating unconventional sculptural constructions made of unusual materials. Whether using windshield-washer fluid jugs, twisted strips of craft paper, netting, marbles, fabric strips, shrink-wrap tubes or hula-hoops, the artist’s constructions succeed in producing associations that circumvent the space and set up a relationship between density and lightness.
In this new body of work, Les Inflections, Laframboise uses the iconic hula-hoop to create an installation that is playful and surprising both in the material selected and how it is used. The hula-hoop’s function is reinvented to become a formal device that examines line and colour in space. The viewer, immersed within the forms, can appreciate the material’s harnessed energy and its formal pictorial qualities.
Les inflections I and II are three-dimensional drawings effectively executed in space. The coloured hoops are cut, bent and jointed to become drawing material. The resulting shapes are supple and unpredictable, flowing naturally in a linear network. As interrelated systems, the groups of lines function independently, but also as a whole. The reference to mathematics, made evident by the work’s title, is significant because the inflection point of a curve in differential geometry denotes a point of convergence between convex and concave curves. We experience this concept in the work as the point of connection between the individual hoops. In its whole, the installation becomes an artistic metaphor: multiplications of curves intermingle as if complex equations are physically represented in space.
What is truly effective in this artist’s work is how she transforms simple materials to produce installations that are at times almost monumental yet remain integral to the material’s form. Laframboise’s rich imagination enables her to invest a space with meaning, whether it is a gallery, a wooded area, a passageway between buildings, power lines or those of a tramway, even a simple sheet of paper, all inspire her to create a system of interrelations that unite the plausible and the unbelievable. In this work, the playful, the rational, and the metaphysical are woven together to form enduring links.
Director and curator of Langage Plus
The exhibition, Les inflexions I was shown at Langage Plus (Alma) in the summer of 2013.
Text translated from French by Josée Aubin Ouellette
Marie-Josée Laframboise holds a Bachelor’s degree in visual art (1987) and a postgraduate certificate in sculpture (1994) from the Université du Québec à Montréal and a Master’s degree in visual arts from Concordia University (2002). In 2000, she studies at The Glasgow School Of Art as part of the student exchange programme. Her work has been exhibited in Canada and abroad – France, Switzerland, Germany and Austria- either in solo or group exhibitions or as part of symposia and residency programmes. Since 2006, Marie-Josée Laframboise has been teaching at the Collège Lionel-Groulx in Sainte-Thérèse. She has also taught at the Université du Québec à Montréal, at the Université du Québec en Outaouais, at Concordia University and at the University of Ottawa. Her work is part of such prestigious public and private collections as Prêts d’œuvres d’art du Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the collections of the Musée d’art de Joliette, the Cirque du Soleil, and the Foundation Christoph Merian in Switzerland. Born in Québec City, Marie-Josée Laframboise lives and works in Montréal.
Marie-Josée Laframboise would like to thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts for supporting her research. She would also like to thank Diane Morin for her assistance with the installation of Les inflexions II.