Review of Christine Vaillancourt's work by Nancy Whipple Grinnell
Curator of the Newport, RI Art Museum
“Vaillancourt's paintings reverberate through time. Geometric abstractions, rooted in the early twentieth century work of the Constructivists, Concrete artists and Mondrian, Vaillancourt carries us forward to the1950s, the decade of her childhood. Post-war enthusiasm for engineering and machine production manifested itself in design, in particular, textiles filled with abstract color blocks, circles and lines suggesting mathematical symbols. Fast forward fifty years to the present, in which Vaillancourt 's imagery connects us with the high tech world: digital info, bits and bytes, molecules, genes, quarks, the building blocks of matter providing us with glimpses of our attempts to understand the possibilities of nanotechnology.
She further engages us with illusory techniques, making acrylic look like encaustic, fooling the eye with depth perception, and creating playful yet provocative motifs. Calculated and precise multi-colored shapes—circles, ovals, squares, rectangles and dots—levitate in space in Vaillancourt's paintings. She achieves this effect by layering her forms beneath heavily applied translucent acrylic medium. Vaillancourt invites the viewer to enter her world of contained but free moving objects. She writes, "My work is a study of geometry, color, line, space, movement, and the natural, historical human connection of elemental geometry as metaphor."