Valérie Blass, born: 1967
Working in sculpture, Blass looks for tensions and relationships between form, figure, materials, and art historical tropes. She often uses everyday objects and industrial materials as an inspiring starting point to organically explore tension and absence in natural and art history such as fractured figures and broken remains or artifacts. Blass has a vision of a curious present, a place where seemingly stoic objects come to be on guard as cemented (literally) sentinels, spent warriors, princesses and other figures. Materials and history act as muses and points of comparison. Blass’ profound engagement addresses and respects the history of sculpture while introducing new versions of icons and figures. It is a lexicon of sorts that Valérie uses over and over again, the duality of matter- the sameness and differences of things and the repetition of colors, materials and scale-becomes the landscape of an actual world. Her work relies on responses and reactions of an inspired audience. What is left is her imaginings of the immediate present/future where new executions bring together wonderful iconic hybrids.
Valérie Blass obtained a BFA and a MFA in visual and media arts from Université du Québec à Montréal. Blass was an invited artist in the inaugural Québec Triennial at The Musée d’art contemporain in Montréal. The museum subsequently acquired one of her sculptures for their permanent collection. She has had solo shows in Montréal at Galerie Circa, Galerie B312, DareDare, Galerie Foreman (Sherbrooke), in Québec City at L’Œil de poisson, in Toronto at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art as well as group shows most recently at the at the Power Plant, Toronto, curated by Helena Reckitt, Galerie de l’UQAM, Galerie Clark and Blackwood Gallery. Her work is also found in the permanent collection of the The National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée contemporain de Montréal, the loan collection of The Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec, The Royal Bank of Canada, as well as privately.