Comments from Montreal:
by Remi Turgeon
“Sometimes you look like these beautiful horizons
That suns of the misty seasons light up…
How you shine, soaked landscape
That the falling rays of a murky sky set on fire!” —Charles Baudelaire
“It is some of this spirit that envelops us when we lose ourselves in a painting by Kyle Evans. Impregnated with a soft melancholy, we perceive in these works an evasive daylight that encourages reverie and the enchantment of memory.
Like a fugitive day that could bend to our will and never vanish on the end of the horizon, these paintings direct us to places unimagined. Translucent, liquid and evanescent, they slip over our eyes as honey, blurring reality.
Produced from encaustic, the thick layers of wax create a troubling distance between our gaze and the surreal, sketched landscape. These visionary landscapes float over reality’ almost forgetting it. A few large masses of yellow, red and blue serve to create the structure of these airy sightings.
By employing primary colours in a scattered fashion and brushing through them a saturated white both blinding and tender, we are made to feel as though we are in the centre of light. This sensation is analogous to the one we have when looking out an airplane window. Leaving clouds we thought we’d never escape, we emerge in front of a sun that hangs in the limpid air.
Its dazzling rays prevent us from seeing clearly and we retain only hallucinations of the coloured spectrum dancing in our eyes. The paintings of Evans work in this manner. As soon as a clearing is perceived, a net of fog plunges us into its oblivion. As in watercolours, objects are sketched without ever appearing precisely. But yet nothing looks as though it was created by the artist’s hand! It all appears as the fruit of some hazard produced by the water, the air and the paint meeting in some sort of common flow.
Complex and Baroque, the art of Evans resists being compartmentalized. Its elusive definition reminds us of the father of fluidity in painting: J.M.W. Turner. We know the effect of his influence upon modern painting and the lessons learned from him by the Impressionists.
In the case of Evans, let’s keep the most important: the erosion of shapes. The joy of suggestion in place of a refusal to transcribe. It is also of benefit to recall Turner to better appreciate a certain turmoil, tempestuous within Evans’ art. These paintings resemble those of the Romantics without the latter’s gloom and obscurity.
A reminder of Victor Hugo’s dark watercolours is enough to convince us of this. The maelstroms of Evans don’t however plunge us into anguish. Rather, they are gusts, helping us to escape. But how do we resist boredom in front of a work that appears to search out absence and emptiness? By looking closely we discover consciousness within this absence and the emptiness thereby fills.
The art of Evans transports us as though on a cloud towards a beyond where our soul is welcomed in the cradle of its being.”