Denis Larouche A.O.C.A.

Alumnus of the Ontario College of Art & Design

 

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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"

William Blake

 

 

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 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 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 Einstein and Marić's 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 have always been interested in science and as an artist this has 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, independent 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?

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?

Denis Larouche A.O.C.A. - 2015

Alumnus of the Ontario College of Art & Design

Gilles-Gagné Award for Artistic Excellence, 2012 (FALCO)

Télé-Québec Award, 2011

Gatineau, QC

www.denislarouche.com