The volume collects a vast visual epic in which Party plays a variety of roles, sometimes impersonating the artist, others the scenographer, the conservator, or the sculptor. His work, and the title of the show, are inspired by L’heure mauve, a piece created in 1921 by the Canadian painter Ozlas Leduc that highlights the different interpretations given to the relationship between man and nature throughout the history of art. The result is a constantly changing natural environment: it can be a place full of danger and catastrophe, a territory to be conquered, an expanse disseminated with ancient ruins, or even silences where there are no traces of human presence. Nature finally becomes the theater for the Anthropocene, its connection with humanity by now inextricable, and the passing of time and the finiteness of existence make way for a feeling of melancholy.
Our artist interrogates the world’s image, and he does so by dialoguing very concretely with the spaces and the works belonging to the collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The present volume reflects this personal evolution by employing a unique graphic framework and a packaging that is as precious as its contents.
Nicolas Party (Lausanne, 1980) is a figurative artist living and working in New York. His artistic practice stems from his passion for graffiti, pursued from an early age and refined over a decade. Party’s work is not confined to painting. In fact, his creative universe – mainly featuring still lifes and portraits – is also declined through other media, such as murals, installations, ceramic pieces, and sculptures. The latter are often references to ancient Greek and Roman fragments. His work has been the subject of collective and solo exhibitions held in important international venues such as the Musée Magritte (Brussels, 2018), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington DC, 2017), the Dallas Museum of Art (2016), the Centre Culturel Suisse (Paris, 2015), and the Swiss Institute (New York, 2012).
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, February 12 – October 16, 2022