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Review of Yunus Chkirate’s Le Triad Exhibition at the Galerie Triad

By Elizabeth White

Elizabeth White discusses Yunus Chkirate’s Le Triad exhibition, on until November 6, 2014 at Galerie Triad (3475 Boulevard Saint-Laurent). This one man exhibition is not to be missed, and more information can be found on the website.

Artist, Art and Space in Harmony: Yunus Chkirate’s Le Triad Gallery

Upon entering on a dreary evening, Yunus Chkirate welcomes us and pours us coffee. Walking to and fro through the space, we have lively, lovely discussion about his gallery and works, previous exhibits, and partake in earnest small talk.[1] He is forthcoming and available to us, as is the space. He explains it as being very special, housing works of an intimate artistic endeavor through love, life and friendship.

The white walls are offset by one of pale turquoise- blue and a worn wooden door centered in the backmost wall. The open space is broken up by a lounge section composed of three large works opposite a spacious couch. In the front area, there is a series of paintings of a male subject. These are photographs onto which Yunus has applied layers of thick paint that emerge from the subject’s head, cuts across his body and envelops him. Yunus explained that it brings to life a story of learning experiences and how one grows with them. Next to this series is projected a video of a man in both vulnerable and strong poses, subtitled with excerpts from Yunus’ personal journal of brief existential comments and interrogations . The individual holds three coloured scarves to his head — turquoise-blue, purple and red — waving erratically in the wind (i.e.: photo shoot fan), moving with and against these like thoughts run wild.

The space furthest back presents studies of friendship. Each study is a triptych of an individual depicted in three perspectives. (I was using alive in the ‘accessible and available’ sense because of the framework in which I am writing in anthropology but it would need more explanation that is kind of impertinent here so lively is indeed better) Framed sketches and notes in the back corner illustrate the overall vision of the gallery, including the suggestion that the three points of views refer to the three points in time – past, present and future (with regards to the direction in which the individuals are facing). One canvas in each triptych with the subject facing forward addresses the viewer “in the present tense.”[2] The composed bodies and portraits are textured with intangible and powerful fluid movements of broad strokes of paint swooping and departing from the frame, creating depth within and without the canvas. The lively faces whose hair explode into colourful expression and emotion reiterate the colour scheme of the paintings in the front, as well as different parts of the room: light turquoise-blue can be found on the walls, purple on the couch, accents of red on the guest book in the lounge area, as well as pops of yellow.

Along with the sketches — which, by framing, he makes an integral part of the Triad — there are three framed pieces of tarp that would have been laid on the floor while he painted the works. There are two chairs spattered with the paint of his creative process. These elements bring planning, process and presentation into the experience of the viewer, permeating the space with Yunus Chkirate’s conception of the Triad. The ideas flow through the added touches and allow an intense and simultaneous viewing encounter of art, artist and space all moving through each other.

On the windowsill are jars with folded gallery flyers inside. The handmade feel pervades in this space. The artist creates a welcoming atmosphere. Le Triad is undeniably Yunus Chkirate’s space. In the existential vein of the video and his expression of an imaginative body-mind dynamic, the real flowers in the window bring an ephemeral quality to vibrant gallery… Visit Le Triad Gallery before November 6th!

[1] With respect to the positive connotation of ‘conversation for its own sake’.

[2] Mignon Nixon, “Psycho-Phallus (Qu’est-ce que c’est?),” in A Companion to Art Theory, eds. Paul Smith and Carolyn Wilde (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002), p. 400

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