Born in Montreal, Quebec, 1977
A graphic artist by profession, Canadian Karine Léger began to explore her interest in painting in the early 2000's. Over the ensuing years, her artistic vision evolved through photography, collage and painting.
At first, Léger was drawn to portraiture. Then in 2006 and 2007 she traveled to Northern Quebec and Iceland where the landscape completely changed her artistic vision, and she developed a love for vast spaces and the calm of winter.
Since then Léger has been developing a unique style through her abstract paintings. Léger's interpretation of these empty spaces starts with elaborate research of textures which she draws on from her own photographs, books and the internet. Léger's approach first involves the need for deconstructing to better establish the foundation for an introspective reconstruction. Each painting is beautifully spare in both its palette and line.
Léger's coupled elements invite personification. One imagines the opposing forms/ personalities growing closer, tentatively, in an attempt to find common ground. Her subtle outlines encompass parts of each shape, perhaps suggesting a meeting of the minds.
2010 Sans Visage - paintings, Narcisse Bistro, Montreal
2009 Forêt - photography, StudioBizz, Montreal
2009 Portraits - paintings, Maison de thé ChaNoir, Montreal
TWO-PERSON & GROUP SHOWS
2016 Karine Léger & Jaeok Lee, Lanoue Gallery, Boston, MA
2015 Intervalle (with Patricia Barrowman), Galerie MX, Montreal, QC
2014 Winter Group Show: Introducing Karine Léger, Lanoue Gallery, Boston, MA
2014 Traits abstraits, Galerie MX, Montreal
2014 Karine Léger and Joanna Chelkowska, Galerie D, Montreal
2013 Déconstruction, Galerie D, Montreal
2012 Exposition collective de petits formats, Galerie Suite 60, Trois-Rivières 2012 Exposition collective Pi 2, Galerie MX, Montreal
2012 Le nord, le sud, Galerie Espace, Montreal
2011 Expositie Dierlijk, Gesamt Galerie, Rotterdam
2011 A small Conversation, Restaurant Le Barbare, Montreal
2010 The Sketchbook Project 2010, Art House Co-op, Brooklyn
2010 The Square Foot Show, AWOL Gallery, Toronto
2010 Swiss Consulat, Montreal
2009 Bain St-Michel, Exposition de petites oeuvres, Montreal
2006 Galerie In Vivo, Montreal
2015 Mixte Magazine
Karine Léger, Art in the balance
In the studio, bits of torn and cut-up paper and photographs form a growing pile on the work table. Individual pieces from the pile will be meticulously selected for colour, texture and shape, to be arranged and rearranged, assembled and reassembled, in a quest for the right balance. Brushes and paints sit patiently while the artist finishes her collage-sketches, awaiting their turn on the huge white canvas.
This slow, deliberate, creative process is how Karine Léger builds the foundation of her next work. Nothing is rushed, nothing is forced. She stops only when that precious balance has been achieved. Although the composition is set in her sketchbook, she reserves the right to stray from the concept in deference to the canvas. The unhurried pace suits her and she respects it.
Landscapes emerge from the destruction. Superimposed layers of images and transparent acrylics give birth to geometric shapes suggestive of things found in the natural world. Abstract, yet deeply evocative, her spare compositions leave room for the viewer’s interpretation.
Recently, this process has produced two magnificent series of paintings: Mountain Names and The Shape of the Sky.Wide-open spaces and vast expanses of snow are the source of her inspiration. Karine has spent time in the Far North among the Inuit, in a place where time stands still and silence reigns supreme. Those Northern landscapes have left their indelible mark. There she found contentment.
Balance is what she seeks in every aspect of her life. Indeed, her creative process is intimately tied to her personality. Her palette indicates an artist in pause, enjoying the calm, avoiding environments that blare and colours that shriek. It is also her link to nature, and to human nature; it is her love of her creations, her love of self. For Karine Léger, there is meditation in the way she applies layer upon layer of texture, working to the strains of soft music, or in silence.
Art has always been part of Karine’s life. As a child, she spent hours alone, drawing. She studied Fine Arts in CEGEP, eventually focusing on Graphic Arts, which allowed her to alternate between work, art, and private classes. In 2000, painting slowly crept back into her life and art, and her canvases began to be exhibited in a growing number of group and solo shows. In 2012, her work caught the attention of Olivier Gagnon of Galerie MX, who took her under his wing. Her career soon took flight, eliciting interest in the international market, and in 2014, she began representation by Lanoue Gallery in Boston.
An even greater maturity informs her newest series, which can be seen as something of a sequel to The Shape of the Sky. Karine continues to explore, provoke encounters and work in group studios with other artists, finding them a rich source for the conversation, questioning and fragments of answers that feed her creations and her quest for balance.
2013 Museum of Fine Arts of Sherbrooke – annual auction catalog of works of art 2013 Société Alzheimer du Canada – Catalog
2013 Magazine Spirituality & Health (Michigan) – article illustration
2011 Poetry book « Onun Çölünde » par Bejan Matur (Istanbul) – book cover 2011 Poetry book « Fake Book » par Tony Leuzzi (New York) – book cover
2010 Décover Magazine – artist’s portfolio
2010 Slice Magazine No 7 (Brooklyn) – article illustration 2009 Le Vadrouilleur Urbain – visual art blog