Durocher (b.1959, Ottawa, Canada) grew up in and around Montréal. Following her visual arts studies, and dissatisfied with the university program, Durocher decided to take classical art training at the Mission Renaissance Fine Art Institute. While rebelling against the diktat of institutionalized contemporary art and searching for the absolute, Durocher could not help but master drawing and classical painting, thus legitimizing a deconstructionist future, taking a road similar to that of the history of art. The artist devoted many years to perfecting her skills in drawing, colour, light, synthesis and composition. Durocher thus reached a summit in her mastery of realist representational art. Durocher continued her development by concentrating on impressionist landscapes and later on expressionist still lifes. She painted in a more and more synthesized fashion and pushed minimalism right up to her representation of trees which can be seen in almost all her works over the last 30 years as simple stylized vertical forms. Some of her most recent works show a shift from a new figuration to total abstraction.
These works of art, which Durocher calls Contemporary Fossils, juxtapose urbanity and nature. Rust and leaves, concrete and branches, humanity and nature share the canvas.
Durocher uses a thick clear coat just as nature uses amber to seal its fossil fragments. Diverted from their carboniferous destiny, these elements appear as if put under glass for posterity. As if they are so rare, and more and more threatened, these elements of Arte Povera (poor art) highlight the fact that nature has almost disappeared from the life of most people. The artist makes the leaves and twigs dance on the canvas, like an autumn wind, with much finesse and sensibility. She introduces natural detritus into our aseptic environments, imbuing a simple twig with meaning. The use of organic material at a time when life has left it also subsumes the themes of death and temporality, of the ephemeral. Durocher produces her works sometimes in white tones, diaphanous and ethereal, sometimes in dark hues, full of pigments. Sometimes monochromatic, sometimes multicoloured, her canvases, which integrate spatiality, encourage us to touch these textures, these materials, creating a communication between the tactile sense and vision.
This period is witness to a quest for the simple, the bare; for finesse in expression and communication. This search, which is at the heart of her creativity, is the fruit of a long and rich maturation, over some 30 years, an exceptional process that is rare in the world of art that has brought Durocher from academic realism to contemporary abstraction.