Standing before Daniel Langevin's recent pictures a memory of the irresistible attraction we all felt as children at the candy counter resurges: seductive colours, luminous and contrasting; fantastic forms, subtle and fluid. Looking for the brilliance and texture of barley sugar, Langevin uses hyper-lustrous lacquers that he applies, layer upon layer, onto wooden panels. The colours take on the compositional work of these pictures with a ludic and stylized vocabulary, one close to the aesthetic of children's comics. Their flat treatment calls to mind the silkscreen techniques practiced by the artist for a number of years.
In his earlier work, Langevin explored different representational motifs. Here he moves on to abstraction, banking on the expressive value of form and colour. Eliminating all figuration to offer up radically distilled compositions, or featuring just a few slight forms situated somewhere between the recognizable and the unrecognizable, Langevin seeks to evoke an ambiguity in the reading process. Pointing towards real objects, that remain nonetheless unidentifiable, the figures that surge gaily through his compositions give us no choice but to project the substance of our desires onto them, to take refuge on the side of the imaginary.
The frank evidence of these bare paintings offers a refreshing counterweight to the quest for the hyper-definition of the image that characterizes our time, even to the point of the over freighting, proliferation and complication of the visual information that we are called on to assimilate everyday.
NdeB. translated by PduB.