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THE NEXT 7 DAYS:     EVENTS (18)     +     OPENINGS (8)     +     DEADLINES (5)     +     CLOSINGS (13)
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Susannah Wesley
Mathieu Lefevre at Centre Clark
June 15, 2016

I didn’t know Mathieu Lefèvre well, but sometimes I think I see him walking down the street, his blond hair and slight figure glimpsed through the crowd, and I have to check myself because it can’t possibly be him. Lefèvre died in 2011, at just thirty years old, when he was hit by a truck while cycling in Brooklyn. Centre Clark’s exhibition Make It Big (More Shit on Walls) is a retrospective of his conceptual and multidisciplinary practice, which mainly consists of paintings, sometimes sculpture, and the odd video or installation as well.

Mathieu Lefèvre, Rave, 2010, spray paint on Watteau poster

The exhibition is carefully co-curated by Nicolas Mavrikakis, Roxanne Arsenault, and Manon Tourigny. The Edmonton-born artist’s paintings – joyously anti-heroic, one-liner critiques of the art world – are thoughtfully hung and the artist’s studio is also delicately re-created. However, as posthumous retrospectives go, this one takes a rather different approach. Following the artist’s spirit in more ways than one, the curators contacted a psychic medium to consult with Lefèvre on the development of the exhibition. Video documentation of their intriguing conversation is included and it veers between comforting, amusing, and unsettling. Whichever way, it’s definitely worth watching. That Lefèvre had already created a tongue-in-cheek work to be exhibited after his death, Last Will - mon testament ou Death Wish from 2006, makes the curators’ attempt at a transcendental collaboration fitting and brings an unexpected layer of intimacy to the exhibition. Not many curators would be so thorough in their research! I left Centre Clark re-acquainted with Lefèvre’s practice and less willing to dismiss the possibility that maybe he does indeed still walk among us.

Centre Clark:
Mathieu Lefèvre: Make It Big (More Shit on Walls) continues until June 18.

Susannah Wesley is an artist and curator living in Montreal. She has been a member of the collaborative duo Leisure since 2004 and from 1997-2000 was part of the notorious British art collective the Leeds13. Formerly Director at Battat Contemporary in Montreal, she holds an MFA from the Glasgow School of Art and an MA in Art History from Concordia University. She is Akimblog's Montreal correspondent and can be followed @susannahwesley1 on Twitter.



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