In the past year, the palm tree has been the main figure of Maude Léonard-Contant’s work, mediating between object of desire and reminiscence and totem for religious cult.
The work she has developed for the Abrons Art Center will end the cycle on palm trees: the ridiculous adoration has turned into a campy nightmare, within which only ghostly traces of the palm remain. Inspired by Noir fiction, the hoax of the coconut pearl and Epyptomania, the resulting installation depicts an oasis at night that tells a story with a plot that remains obscure.
Léonard-Contant’s body of work explores the propensity for landscape to generate fiction. She is interested in the subtext inherent in the framing of nature, which induces a conceptual and perceptual mish-mash when our personal mythologies, fantasies and memories merge with collective psyche, clichés and history.
Looking at a postcard isn’t a simple task. At the same time she believes it is possible to encounter the Grand Canyon with a yawn.
2009, wood, mixed medium, 215cm x 180cm x 365cm.
Inside the green house is reproduced a portion ( 25 square feet) of the surrounding landscape on a 1 : 5 scale.
2009, Kraft paper, cardboard, wire, glue, ink, 300cm x 550cm x 600cm.
A life size sculpture of a paint by number image representing a flower shop wherein several famous still lives are hidden.
2009, Stryrofoam, acrylic on polyethylen, mixed medium, 125cm x 700cm x 500cm.
Bleachers mirroring the shape of Niagara falls face a kitschy painting of the falls.
2008, paper, Prismacolor pencils, styrofoam, 180cm x 730cm x 425cm.
When the viewer looks into the hole in the wall, he sees the same perspective than on the postcard pinned below.
2007, paper, styrofoam, watercolor, 300cm x 610cm x 640cm.