Articles

Selected excerpts from publications and a
bibliography of ongoing mentions. 

 

THE CREATIVE UNCONSCIOUS

– excerpt from an interview in the online magazine, The Creative Unconscious, June 10, 2018. 

Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?

 I was looking at a photo of a beautiful home interior and the realist painting on the wall, when I realized the “painting” was a big screen TV with a frozen picture. This gave me the idea to paint film stills as though they were classical paintings. I use a grid to paint my work and this slightly digitized effect adds to the concept. I’m trying to reclaim the wall for painting. 

WHERE, EDMONTON

“Known for his still life portraits and use of grids, Lemay scales up the scenes square by square, which both captures the meticulous process and creates a digitized effect. In this way, pop culture and modern technologies are transformed into art and better able to compete for space upon the wall.” 

– Tamara Aschenbrenner 

AVENUE, EDMONTON

- excerpt from Artist Q & A, January 2018 issue and online December 29, 2017.  

Q: What is your dream project?

A: Right now I'm working at the scale I want, in the way I want, so I feel very lucky. I suppose my dream project would be to do a photo shoot with some really famous fashion person and do paintings based on that.

Q: How do you overcome creative roadblocks?

A: You look for new inspiration and try to remember that it’s supposed to be fun so if it’s getting really boring and you feel like you’re repeating yourself then really think about why that is, have some self reflection and then try and add some new things to the mix. Turn your frustration into some sort of creative change.

 

 

WHERE, CALGARY

– excerpt from “Grid” by Breanna Mroczek in Where, Calgary, May/June 2016 issue. 

“Robert Lemay regularly created still life paintings, but that all changed when he painted a book that had a photo of Leonard Cohen on the cover. “I thought it would be interesting to paint another face, so I found an old magazine with Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover,” says Lemay. “I painted it and that’s how the series “Grid” started. It introduced me to a new world of fashion and celebrity culture, which is a dominant topic today, with many models and actors having tens of millions of social media followers. These are the people John Singer Sargent would have been painting 100 years ago, or who Any Warhol would be silkscreening.” 

“I’m drawn to covers by the expression of the face, and poses and lighting which are suggestive of renaissance or baroque portraits.” 

 

FASHION

– excerpt from FashionMay 2016

“Edmonton based artist Robert Lemay is preserving the art of the cover girl through a striking series of oil paintings(think Tilda Swinton, Paulina Porizkova and Kate Moss). His new show at Wallace Galleries in Calgary hints at an increasingly digital world with its pixel-style grids. Lemay reveals why it’s important to slow down.” 

What’s your fascination with fashion magazine covers?

Models, along with the photography in this somewhat ephemeral object – the fashion magazine – transformed into still life object is what interests me. Still life traditionally has themes of transience, so what happens when you consider the fashion magazine in these terms? 

AVANT: TRENDS IN INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES, POLAND

– excerpt from Avant, 2, 2014 

It seems that you know all about the properties and secrets of colour and light. Are there any aspects of your work that you see as particularly intriguing or, perhaps, challenging?

Art since the Renaissance has used the idea of the canvas as a two-dimensional surface containing the illusion of the third dimension. The secret of the illusion is the tonal variation which suggests objects and space within the illusory world behind the picture plane. The challenge is to understand that each new generation reinvents the relationships and forms used – the sign system of painting. The influences, both conscious and unconscious, of the time one finds oneself in is the intriguing part of being an artist. 

(read the article online)

 
 

Bibliography

2016  Fashion Magazine, "Picture Perfect: Robert Lemay's Artistic
          Take on Magazines." May 2016.
2016  Where Calgary Magazine, "Grid." May/June 2016.
2014  Avant Magazine, Interview. Volume V, Issue 2, 2014.
2010  Canadian Interviews. “The Moment of Astonishment: Interview
          with Robert Lemay.”  
2010  Ryan, Janice. “Oil Paintings Animate Common Objects,”
          Edmonton Journal, Friday, June 17, 2011.
2009  Notebook Magazine. V.3, Issue 8. “Shawna & Robert Lemay:     
          Calm Things.     
2008  Bouchard, Gilbert. “Lemay Reinterprets Iconic Art in his Neutral
           Realist Style,”  Edmonton Journal, Friday, April 11, 2008.
2006  Bouchard, Gilbert.  “Alberta: What is Visible,” Galleries West
           Magazine.
2005  Bouchard, Gilbert. “Lemay Breathes New Life into Form”,          
           Edmonton Journal. Oct 7, G8.   
2005  Lemay, Shawna. “Precarious”, Artichoke. Summer,  2005, pp.    
           38-45.
2003  Kellog, Alan. “Catching Up With the Beautiful People”, Edmonton
          Journal.                                     
2001  Bouchard, Gilbert. “Real Life Frozen in Still-Life Mastery”
          Edmonton Journal. May 4, E14
1999  Gustafson, Paula. “Robert Lemay at Douglas Udell Gallery,”
          Asian Art News, March/April 1999
1998  Image reproduced. Alberta Views, Spring Vol. 1, No.2, pp. 15.
1996  Mandel, Charles. “Still-Life Showing so Conventional it’s    
          Unconventional,” Edmonton Journal. January 25, C5.
1993  “Time is Frozen in a Painter’s Still Life Studies”, Edmonton     
           Journal. December.      
1992  “Artist Follows Cezanne’s Example”, Edmonton Journal.
1989  Beauchamp, Elizabeth. “Summer Candid Pictures Can Lift    
          Winter Mood”, Edmonton Journal. December 2, D4.