Intimate metaphors

Carol Bernier was born on March 9, 1963, in Montréal, the city where she currently lives and works. She studied art history, and has a B.A. and a master’s degree in fine arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her interest in exploring many different art forms led her first to Hungary and then to France, where she learned the technique of engraving.

Since 1994, her work has been displayed at solo exhibitions in Montréal’s Galerie Simon Blais as well as in various European cities. It has also been shown in group exhibitions in Mexico, in other Canadian provinces and in New York.

Captivated by light and transparency, Bernier has developed a painting technique that resembles water colour but uses oils instead. Her technique calls for many superimposed layers of colours and varnish. This eclectic artist also readily incorporates unusual materials, such as tar, to add extra richness to her work. The result is all nuance and clever textures.

Less concerned with outright illustration than with suggestion, Bernier’s work addresses painting’s eternal challenge: how to use the work’s inherent power to present the viewer with an internal reality. In Bernier’s master’s thesis submitted in 1994, she examines the notion of artistic solitude as a necessity to the creative process. Today, her self-imposed seclusion enables her to continue searching for the absolute, for authenticity, stripped of all preconceived ideas. The movements used in creating her work are revealed through a sequence that is neither logical nor linear, but rather natural and spontaneous. She is trying to find a language without restrictions or compromise, a language that is both gentle and violent, both light and textured.

The journeys she has undertaken become veritable artistic pilgrimages, opportunities to nurture her vision and sharpen her sensibilities. It is through her travels that Bernier was introduced to the works of such masters as Rothko, Fra Angelico and Tàpies.

« If you are looking for fire, you will find it beneath the ashes. »

— Mark Rothko