Nicolas Grenier
Promised Land Template, 2014
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
22.10.14 – 04.01.15

Nicolas Grenier’s work explores the built environment’s embodiment of both systems of social interactions and power relations. Promised Land Template features a pavilion-like structure, halfway between a bunker and a mausoleum, which houses paintings whose acidulous palette and late-modernist style depict schematics of dehumanized, rationalist approaches to topical societal issues. These paintings’ streamlined organization of pictorial space, closely related to graphic design, coolly confronts the viewer with a technocratic take on displacement and immigration. In this way, the work imparts new meanings to the language typically used in these contexts, pointing to the unstable relationship between language and form. This use of language hovers between a direct referent of the depicted subject and the image evoked by the written words. As the artist has stated: “How might the subtle aggressivity of a bright orange glaze over a cold pink relate to the shift of meaning between two words such as ‘integration’ and ‘assimilation’?”

Explicitly referencing the impact of Latin American immigration on the United States, Promised Land Template also questions how future population movements are to be envisaged globally.
– ML

Nicolas Grenier, Promised Land Template, 2014, architectural installation: wood, acrylic, construction materials, light, filters, three painting and a cactus, 366 x 366 x 650cm (courtesy of the artist and Galerie Art Mûr in Montréal)
Nicolas Grenier, Promised Land Template, 2014, architectural installation: wood, acrylic, construction materials, light, filters, three painting and a cactus, 366 x 366 x 650cm (courtesy of the artist and Galerie Art Mûr in Montréal)
Biography

Born in Montréal in 1982, Nicolas Grenier lives and works in Montréal and Los Angeles. He received a BFA from Concordia University in 2004 and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Los Angeles, in 2010. His work has been exhibited regularly in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Recent exhibitions include The Work of The Work, University of California, Santa Barbara; Building on Ruins, Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles; Color Consciousness, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; Untitled Tower/Brutalist Treehouse, Concord, Los Angeles; Corner-Thru, Choi&Lager Gallery, Cologne, and Union Gallery, London; and Proximities, Galerie Art Mûr, Montréal. His work is found in the Collection Loto-Québec, the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, CPOA collection, Concordia University as well as corporate and private collections. He is represented by Galerie Art Mûr in Montréal.

nicolasgrenier.com

Videos
Interview - BNLMTL 2014 at the MACM