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Leo Rosshandler


(International  Art  Critics  Association ) 


Acrylic on Canvas / 82 x 72 inches


            Cerj Lalonde is an artist-philosopher. His paintings are created from intellectual concepts filtered through a flow of sensuality. Whereas the concepts are at the root of the composition of his works, the flow does not compete with one another. They support each other and thus give life to the artwork. The most striking aspect of Cerj's paintings is that these two sides of his creative gesture remain distinct and visible. Consequently, his works are always clear and understandable. They manage to avoid the danger of emotional exuberance as well as that of cold calculation. They exist by alliance rather than by synthesis.

            How does Cerj approach his paintings? In the first place, he speaks an abstract visual language. The artist is part of the great non-objective movement - in fact, it leads to the creation of an autonomous figuration - a movement which goes in a straight line from the Russian avant-garde to present day postmodern, and post-conceptual abstraction, all of it having its origin in analytical cubism. Cerj Lalonde's work occupies a place at the convergence of these currents. He proceeds to transform them in an entirely new range. His expression is psychological and, therefore, more intimate.

            The abstract artist is, by definition, an inventor of forms. The forms which Cerj puts before our eyes are the result of a rigorous thought process based on the interplay of surfaces, the articulation of plans and on what I like to call chromatic counterpoint. Thus, color becomes as important as form. Color manifests itself through flat or shaded surfaces which are always precisely defined. Color in turn brings forth forms as it meets at angles or at other linear limits. Cerj reveals an ability to deal freely with a wide range of tonalities applied in lively juxtaposition.

            Let us now go back to the observation made previously to the effect that Lalonde, the abstractionist, is of need the inventor of his own figuration, a term referred to indeed in its most abstract meaning. The apparent contradiction of language - figuration vs abstraction - comes to mind when one proceeds to analyze his paintings. Actually, the more one observes these works of art, the more one becomes subjected to the concentration they project, the more one penetrates into a world of abstract objects visually perceived. The technical procedures used by the artist objectify the painted subject, enabling the viewer to recognize the presence of a tangible object. The effective internal structure underlying Cerj's works shifts the observer's viewpoint from the formal to the informal and back. This is the very gesture which proclaims the creative and conceptual originality of the artist and provides for him a special place in the world of abstraction of our time.

            Cerj's art cannot be seen as to a local or regional school. He is an integral participant in the great inventive movement of our global world. In the same way as geometric art has been creating geometrical forms with an infinite degree of variation and significance, abstract paintings are demonstrating their own unending potential.

            There is, furthermore, a recourse of iconography in Cerj Lalonde's work. Initially, there is the iconography of dimension made visible through contrasts and through combinations of forms and colors. The strength of the works comes from a melding of accident and decision. Sometimes, by integrating certain figurative elements in his abstractions, Lalonde builds a bridge between the structure of the painting and the ideas it is meant to express.

             It can certainly be said about Cerj Lalonde that he makes use of elements of postmodernism - the integration of specific phases taken from art history - to create a very personal expression. This is a renewal of the abstract language, which, therefore, to return to the first sentence of this article, attains a philosophical dimension.





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