Born in Montreal, 1967
Lives and works in Montreal
Through the lens of sculpture, Blass explores the tensions between form, figure, materials, and art historical tropes. She often uses everyday objects and industrial materials, such as fractured figures and shattered artifacts, as a starting point to organically explore voids and absences in both natural history and art history. Blass re-imagines and re-invents the present by borrowing from different sources, such as hunting supply catalogues or discount stores. In turn, Blass creates a new world by observing and re-introducing the details of time and space. She anthropologically uses negative space in material culture to (re)present history as we know it.
Blass has a vision of a curious present: a place where seemingly stoic objects become alert sentinels, spent warriors, princesses and other mystical figures. Blass remains loyal to sculptural tradition in her new versions of icons and figures. She uses a variety of color, pattern, texture and scale, which work together to create a new vision of the actual world - one that opposes sameness. Her work relies on the responses and reactions of an inspired audience. The immediate present and future are now anticipated with an unexpected 'tour de force'.
VALÉRIE BLASS holds an MFA in visual and media arts from Université du Québec à Montréal. She has had solo institutional exhibitions in Montréal, Québec City, Toronto and Calgary. Blass’ work is found in the collections of The National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, The Musée national des beaux arts du Québec, The Royal Bank of Canada, The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and innumerable corporate and private collections throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. In 2012, Blass was commissioned by Public Art Fund New York for a yearlong group exhibition at the MetroTech Center and was selected to participate in the major survey exhibition, Oh, Canada, at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2013, Blass' work was included alongside such artists as Abbas Akhavan, Nick Relph and LaToya Ruby Fraser in the exhibition Traces of Life in Berlin, Germany. The work of Valérie Blass was most recently presented parallel to the Istanbul Biennale at the Art International Istanbul fair and in a group exhibition curated by Geoffrey Farmer at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Blass’ third major solo exhibition at Parisian Laundry will open in January 2014.