Renée Gouin

Gouin started to develop her own unique process of monotype printmaking about 10 years ago, which blends painting with printmaking techniques. Whereas other forms of printmaking use a press to produce multiples, her monotypes are handmade singular works. The method produces flat, graphic shapes ideal for high contrast images, but also with subtle effects at the edges and within.

Her aesthetic is influenced by an appreciation of Japanese woodblock prints, with muted tonalities and restrained compositions. She draws significant inspiration from the immediate tactile experience of her materials, especially paper – how it reacts and responds to the paint, pressure she applies, and the marks and effects that result. These allow her to work instinctively to reflect the feeling she want’s to convey in a specific piece.

The content of Gouin’s work has two aspects. Firstly, she is interested in exploring how shape and color can be used in a modern graphic way to create interesting juxtapositions. By reducing the elements to simplified graphic shapes and employing negative space there is a more immediate effect. In one instance a detailed jacket may become a block of color, in another a still-life becomes a geometric composition.

Secondly, her intention is to capture a certain sense of feminine beauty expressed through clothing rather than the body directly. The face of her female figures is usually left unmarked, so the emphasis is on their gestures, elegance and poise. The context of the figures is ambiguous, so they are not limited to a specific time or place, instead they exist in an idea that is abstracted and idealized.

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