Montreal Painter Marie Rioux’s Haunting Landscapes Invite Viewers to Contemplate Their Place in the World. See Images Here

Her exhibition, "Suspended Times,” is currently on view at Abbozzo Gallery in Toronto.

Marie Rioux, Distanciation–Distancing (2019). Courtesy of Abbozzo Gallery.
Marie Rioux, Distancing (2019). Courtesy of Abbozzo Gallery.

“I like to observe, contemplate, and sometimes my eyes latch onto something and seize upon an incongruous detail and I find it magnificent,” the Montreal-born artist Marie Rioux says of her artistic process.

Marie Rioux: Suspended Times,” currently on view at Toronto’s Abbozzo Gallery, brings together a series of landscapes painted by the artist over the past two years. These ghostly terrains, filled with small figures engulfed by misty fogs, feel particularly resonant in this year of social distancing.

The sky is her primary focus, occupying the majority space in her compositions, and giving the impression that we are viewing each scene—be it the outline of a cathedral, a misty seascape, or a copse of trees in the evening light—from some distance.

Marie Rioux, Before the night (2020). Courtesy of Abbozzo Gallery.

Marie Rioux, Before the Night (2020). Courtesy of Abbozzo Gallery.

One could easily find precedents for Rioux’s works in the sublime landscapes of German Romantics like Caspar David Friedrich, or in Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s 19th-century forest scenes, with turbulent skies filled with gray and ivory clouds. 

“I create imaginary territories,” Rioux says. “I transform realities. It is essential that my paintings project a certain duality, that they be enigmatic and open to different readings.”

For viewers, the paintings are an invitation to place themselves, like Rioux’s small human figures, in the context of the much larger world.

See more images from Marie Rioux: Suspended Times” below. 

Marie Rioux, The Cathedral (2020). Courtesy of Abbozzo Gallery.

Marie Rioux, The Cathedral (2020). Courtesy of Abbozzo Gallery.

Marie Rioux, Once upon a time (2020). Courtesy of Abbozzo Gallery.

Marie Rioux, Once Upon a Time (2020). Courtesy of Abbozzo Gallery.

Marie Rioux, Silence (2020). Courtesy of Abbozzo Gallery.

Marie Rioux, Silence (2020). Courtesy of Abbozzo Gallery.

Marie Rioux, Migration (2020). Courtesy of Abbozzo Gallery.

Marie Rioux, Migration (2020). Courtesy of Abbozzo Gallery.

Marie Rioux: Suspended Times” is on view at Abbozzo Gallery through November 28, 2020. 


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