Sylvie Adams’ abstract artwork is intriguing, mysterious and even hypnotizing. When you look at it, you aren’t sure where to start and therefore, don’t know when to stop! The pops of colors make it lively just enough not to feel overwhelming. Her artwork is calming yet, has evident character. Who knew abstract work can feel so complete? Canadian artist Adams was born in New Brunswick but Montreal has always been her real home.
Her work has been seen at impressive art shows such as Art Wynwood and Context Miami. Internationally, her paintings have been showcased in Greece, Hong Kong, and London! Impressive overall, we were lucky to catch up with Sylvie in the interview you can read here.
My artistic practice is based on duality, experimentation and the materiality of paint. This practice reinterprets a legacy of lyrical abstract expressionism and renews it in a contemporary way by using opposed notions of will and thought. Based on a rigorous process that leaves room for serendipity, my practice gives a result that is far from determined. The piece becomes the result of a dialogue, an interaction, a dance between the canvas and the artist, where the elementary forces of gravity and time are as active as the mark left by the gesture. Change and the state of change reflected by this experimentations are important themes in my practice.
By putting, throwing and diluting paint on the canvas, I allow serendipity, gravity and time to modify these marks and to create fortuitous traces on the canvas. Thus, voluntary mark-making mingles with random drippings and the unpredictable alterations to the materiality of the paint. Then I decide whether or not to control these traces. They become an integral part of the work. There is a strong dimension of physicality but also a conceptual dimension in knowing when to intervene and when to let go.
My works are produced between periods of reflection alternating with intervals of action, allowing an incremental development of the imagery. Once the initial composition is suggested by the work, the intention becomes clearer and is finalized using free marks and colored masses.
Shaped by an architectural heritage, my imagery refers to a tri-dimensional spatial construction and uses the language of figurative space. In structuring my work in different planes, I create a perception of depth and a feeling of space in which to project oneself. The viewer is invited to navigate through transitional zones alternating between violence and softness. The interaction between forms and colors speaks of contradictory impulses that cause tensions of all kinds. Resulting from those are “un-landscapes” with paradoxical forms, whose borders are both defined and denied. I invite the eye to travel through atmospheric scenes, beyond the physical matter in a suspended temporality, seeking to engage feelings and intellect.
My work wants to evoke a resonance, an echo, a conversation between the image and the viewer. Born of happenstance and determinism, it seeks to provoke by this duality a visceral reaction to the work, but also to use the evocative quality of abstraction to represent the influences that inhabit each viewer. My challenge is to create a work that is a reflection of both an intuitive painting and, a voluntary painting that wants to create a representation in the mind of the viewer.
A native New-Brunswicker, Sylvie Adams has lived mostly in Montreal since the 1980s.
Sheholds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University. Her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions and she has participated in many international contemporary art fairs – in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Selected by Art Wynwood’s curator and director for an exhibition in honor of Shepard Fairey (author of Obama’s “Hope” poster) in Miami in 2017, her work has also been noticed by journalists and critics from Blouin Art Info and Artnet News, during Art New-York in 2016 and 2017. Sylvie Adams lives and works in Montreal.
Her work can also be found in private and corporate collections, including the collections of Rio Tinto Alcan and Norwegian Cruise Line.