Geneviève Rocher



According to Geneviève Rocher, the artist bears witness to the ability that we all possess to acknowledge the limitations, barriers and obstacles that we encounter, and to subsequently find ways to overcome them with the least possible resistance. Neither giving up nor counteracting these limitations: this has been the work of Geneviève Rocher since 1989, when she relinquished painting, acrylic and canvas for drawing, gouache and paper, all without abandoning abstraction, colour, the structure of the tableau and the large format. Today she cuts and folds her supports and sometimes uses them as stencils. She works with a variety of papers whose transparent and absorbent properties affect the tonality of the colours that she uses. With the advent of digital technology, she began incorporating photography into her practice. Femmes (Women, 2019) is the most recent body of work in this vein. In continuing to liberate the act of painting, she hopes to metaphorically testify to our collective potential for freedom, first for ourselves, then for others, without resisting the constraints that we must acknowledge. And It is first and foremost through the pleasure of seeing that she attempts to communicate this access to freedom. It isn’t the quest for meaning that guides the eye over these works, but rather the pleasure of a continual back-and-forth between an appreciation of the whole and the gradual discovery of its methods of fabrication, as well as the corresponding liberating act that is its origin.


Born in Cambridge, USA, Geneviève Rocher lives and works in Montreal. A key figure in feminist abstract painting in Quebec, Geneviève Rocher devotes her practice to revalidating the material, pictorial and structural conditions that have been disparaged by dominant value systems in the visual arts. Her work highlights these discriminatory connotations, not only in the use of patterns, but also more insidiously with medium, material and formal structures. In recent years her work has been exhibited at Galerie B-312 in Montreal (2019), at galleria La Nube di Oort in Rome (2015), and at Occurrence (2012) and La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse (2010), both in Montreal.