Étienne Rousseau is a French-Canadian artist whose paintings have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally. At one time, his abstracts works delved into themes relating to the body and landscapes. Currently, Rousseau's focus is drawn towards conveying his emotional states and the "visual weight" of shapes and colors. However, organic forms reminiscent of nature still appear instinctively in his expressive and bold compositions. Soon, he will participate in the 5th edition of Art3f, the international contemporary art fair in Brussels, via the Van Gogh Art Gallery in Madrid.
"I practice abstract art as a language coded by its shapes and colors, just as music is as much with its notes and silences."
More About Etienne Rousseau
What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from what surrounds me. The colors of the landscapes fuel my work, while the music creates movement in the composition. There is also the reference to the human body through the multitude of lines and cellular textures that are found in my work.
Describe your creative process.
My personal and impulsive approach can only be conceived in abstraction oriented painting where I create the gesture and the line mainly linked to the expressiveness of my emotional states. My primary concern revolves around the concept of affect, which consists of transposing my emotional awareness through broken lines, quick strokes and harmonies of colors referring to my mood, through the use of music. The performative aspect of my own body is also involved in the process in order to create these intuitive movements and let the impulse to create shine through.
What are 3 words that best describe your work?
Abstraction, gestuality, colorful
Who are some artists that have influenced your work?
Willem de Kooning is one of the colorists who inspires me a lot with his flamboyant color palette. Joan Mitchell is also a great artist who mainly inspires me with the gestures she deploys in her paintings. But above all, Cy Twombly is the artist I identify with the most.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?