Strauss Bourque-LaFrance

Region: Northeast

 Strauss Bourque-LaFrance approaches painting through a physical, collage process. His works begin with swaths of canvas and parts of past paintings that have been cut up, layered, painted, and arranged together to create a new large-scale “painting object.” The optical and material potential of collage engages with painterly gestures, forming energetic and unique constructions that call to mind craft practices, cartoon forms, and analog graphic design.

Bourque-LaFrance plays on stylistic tropes within the canon of abstraction, dismantling formal associations with histories, nostalgia, and memory. As a queer painter, Bourque-LaFrance evades a defining style and instead pushes disparate techniques and ideas together, creating an image that is familiar but difficult to define.

Bourque-LaFrance often embeds or collages images from his archive into the paintings, becoming markers of research and a way to venture inside of the piece. Mushrooms, a broom, a Donald Judd chair, shells, occult imagery, David Bowie, food—the images provide a curious map of notes on healing, nature, identity, art, and myth.