Denis Larouche A.O.C.A.
Alumnus of the Ontario College of Art & Design
Événements à venir
Denis Larouche a.o.c.a.d.
Alumnus of the Ontario College of Art and Design
"... as though to let him know that creation was only
the product of a dance of atoms ...”
Umberto Eco, The Island of the Day Before.
"The Sky and the Earth are as old as I am,
and the thousands of things are one."
Zhuang Zi, circa 300 B.C.
"If the doors of perception were cleansed
everything would appear to man as it is, infinite"
Correlating art and physics - On common grounds, worlds apart.
I am fascinated by the concept in physics that light, matter and energy are different aspects of the same thing. This influences the way I see the world and the way I paint.
Some may be uncomfortable with the mixing of art and science even though artists have been doing this since the Renaissance, although perhaps not in so graphic a form. Science and art have always been good neighbours. Da Vinci was both an artist and an engineer. Escher used mathematics to create astounding imagery. Mary Shelly and H.G. Wells both found literary inspiration in the wondrous new phenomenon: “Electricity”. And in his lifetime, J.S. Bach was often considered to be more mathematician than composer.
The influence of mathematics and particle physics in our modern technological society is so prevalent that its association with art is almost unavoidable. Everything to do with medical imagery, electronics, telecommunications—including radio and television—is the result of fundamental research in particle physics and mathematics since the middle of the 19th century. Indeed, GPS systems could not function without the Einstein-Marić Theory of Relativity (Mileva Marić, excellent mathematician and Einstein's first wife greatly contributed to the development of the Special Theory of Relativity of 1905).
I was interested in science and as an artist this resulted in the integration of the scientific language of mathematics into my paintings. Free from academic constraints, and to paraphrase author and mathematician Ian Stewart, I can enjoy rediscovering the elegance of these equations that have changed our world.
What is an equation? Symbols representing quantities, forces and movements in space and time. It is a way of organizing our thoughts to understand the universe around us. If science aims to quantify, independently of any biased appreciation, it could be said that art is a way of interpreting this universe free of any factual obligation. The artist may adhere to, or use, factual information but is not bound by it.
A fascination for the interaction of light and matter is at the very core of an artist's desire to paint. A similar focus is shared by physicists studying quantum mechanics. Considering what has been discovered about the nature of light and matter since the beginning of the 20th century, how can one not be seduced, as a painter, by these discoveries of the scientific World?
From this perspective, a boat is an ideal object for a symbolic representation of photons and the forces studied in physics. “An object at rest tends to remain at rest” (Newton). A boat floats because it displaces a volume of water whose weight is the same at that of the boat (Archimedes). But my work is not a study of the structure of matter, but a reflection of this structure. The unpredictability of artistic exploration mirrors research in quantum physics which has reconciled the concept of unpredictability with the scientific paradigm.
There is something admirable, truly something remarkable in this quest to identify and comprehend those fundamental components of the Universe. A vision so foreign to the macroscopic world as we experience it day by day, that physicists must constantly invent new concepts, new words to describe this quantic reality. And isn’t it what artists do?
There is something graceful, almost mesmerizing, in the scientific calligraphy of mathematics, hieroglyphs for the 21st century. As I learn to read and recognize its symbols, I am in awe at the emerging picture of our world, and the matter-energy of which it is made. And so I have to ask myself: what are we ultimately made of?
Though they work in different ways, artists and scientists both try to better understand the world surrounding us. And it has been observed that science and art both stimulate the same areas of the brain. Physicists do it of course in an infinitely more precise manner, at the very opposite of the artistic endeavour as it is generally perceived. But because art and science both require much intuition, a lot of research and a lot of work, they truly complement one another.
One could even speak of a right-brain left-brain symmetry.
Denis Larouche A.O.C.A. - 2015
Alumnus of the Ontario College of Art & Design
Painting selected for the Homage Award, Culturiades 2017
Gilles-Gagné Award for Artistic Excellence, 2012 (FALCO)
Télé-Québec Award, 2011