Employing virtually every sculptural technique—from moulding, casting, carving and modelling to assemblage and bricolage— Valérie Blass explores the territories between animal, human and inanimate forms, creating strange, hybrid objects.
The impact of Valérie Blass’s work resides in the anachronistic way she navigates between two sculptural traditions. She makes free-standing, vertical, handmade, humanscale,
autonomous pieces that locate her squarely within the classical tradition of figurative sculpture. But the diversity of her materials and the plethora of mass-produced, bought and found objects she uses, stemming from an enthusiastic engagement with the material culture of the twenty-first century, anchor her art in assemblage and bricolage.
The exhibition, which contains approximately thirty new works, is accompanied by a major publication that includes essays by the curator, Lesley Johnstone, and by feminist art historian Amelia Jones, as well as an interview with the artist by Wayne Baerwaldt. It is Blass’s largest exhibition to date, following her participation in the inaugural Québec Triennial at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2008 and numerous group and solo exhibitions in Montréal and across Canada.
Born in Montréal in 1967, Valérie Blass holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in visual and media arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal. In addition to participating in the first Triennial mounted by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, she has had solo exhibitions at Parisian Laundry, in 2008 and 2011, and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, in 2009. In 2010, she took part in group exhibitions organized by the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. Her works were also previously seen at the Power Plant and the Blackwood Gallery in Toronto, and at Galerie Clark in Montréal.