(Montréal 1934 – Montréal 2000)
En hommage à Webern n° 1
[In Homage to Webern No. 1]
Relief print on laminated paper
57.1 x 76.2 cm
Purchased in 1991
National Gallery of Canada, 35986
© Estate of Yves Gaucher / SODRAC (2018)
Photo: National Gallery of Canada
En hommage à Webern n° 1 [In Homage to Webern No. 1] belongs to a suite of three prints produced by Yves Gaucher in tribute to the Austrian composer Anton Webern (1883-1945). Gaucher drew on the vocabulary of Webern’s atonal music to enrich his practice with rhythm, structure, and variations. Here, the embossing and lamination of the paper draw attention to the print’s support, and the artist employs a minimalist visual language to impart vibrancy to the surface. The Webern print suite contains the seeds of the formal and theoretical concerns that characterize Gaucher’s later work as a painter.
The printmaker and later painter Yves Gaucher was a foremost figure in the abstract art that emerged in Canada in the second half of the 20th century. His approach followed on from the work of the Plasticiens and aimed for objectivity in artistic creation. His paintings are characterized by hard-edge and close attention to the dynamic articulation of lines and geometric forms in a monochrome space. Gaucher used series to play on visual variations and explore perceptual phenomena produced by formalist painting.