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MARANDA, Nathalie

Having devoted her creative energies for more than ten years to the human figure and particularly to the female form, Montreal-based artist Nathalie Maranda is now focused principally upon plant and animal forms.

Her most recent body of work, in continuity with her past productions, is a series based upon a single theme that demonstrates again the profound social commitment of this artist to sensitize the public regarding the precariousness of planetary equilibrium, and the fragility of our environment.

Her recent works evoke St.Francis of Assissi’s harmonious vision of the world as expressed in his famous Fioretti, the modest poetic masterpieces the saint wrote to the glory of God’s creatures. The earliest known manuscript of the “Fioretti” is dated 1390; the work was first printed at Vicenza in 1476.

The boundless possibilities of expression following from this inspiration allow for the artist to engage in both complementary and contrasting rhythms. The subject evokes matter and matter becomes subject, through an unending process of discovery improvised on the rhythm of the theme.

Nathalie Maranda’s creative expression moves beyond the traditional antimony of the figuration-abstraction relation. The representational image is often scarcely outlined, but it moves, falters, flows and melts, finally yielding to the painted surface –a dynamic universe which creates and recreates itself into the occurrence, the shape of meaning, through the residue of sculpting organic matter, a method in continuity with her previous explorations.

The presentation of her work in groups, in diptych, triptych, or polyptychs, is a compositional principle that recurs in this body of work. Her palette, despite the richness of hues in ochre, earthy sienna, vibrant blue, and pale magenta, unremittingly evokes an apocalyptic world: devastated, deserted, burnt, petrified.

And, beyond its aesthetic character, Nathalie Maranda’s work posits a space for meditation and the possibility of an encounter. Not simply an encounter of matter and gesture, but also, and above all, an encounter with the spectator – as observer and actor – self-guided, circulating among the clues offered by the artist; appropriating all the possibilities that pile up, one upon the next, from one work to the next, from gestural accumulation, from surfaces wrought of ochre and brown earth tones; celestial, primordial, blues, reds and yellows; set in motion by the artist’s hand, to come alive on the canvas, to be transformed through our gaze.

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