Gabriel Lalonde (b. 1945) is a prolific poet and self-taught visual artist whose multidisciplinary practice includes mixed media images, sculptures, installations, and published poetic works. His canvases—composed of found materials such as wood debris and clapboard, chairs, empty cans, Barbies, metal, and roof shingles—serve as explorations into the syntax of lost time, eroded existence, faded amorousness, and the general effects of wear and tear.
Where they attest to the dematerialisation of ‘text’ as the signifier of civilised society, his paintings recall Symbolist graffiti, or the calligraphic scribbles of Cy Twombly. Thus Lalonde recuperates and recycles the overspill of speech, religious discourse, and words, processing the detritus of what linguist Ferdinand de Saussure distinguished as la parole (speech) into abstract imagery pertaining to the structure of la langue (language). In this sense, Lalonde’s art can be considered as a factory for the disassembly of verse into semiotic ‘units,’ ‘traces,’ ‘marks,’ and ‘lines,’ which become archeological remainders of the poetic.
Astarte Rowe, curator