Rien et toi brings together recent paintings by Louis-Philippe Côté that are among the most abstract the artist has executed to date. Comprising two series, the exhibition reflects the new paths his work has followed during the last few years. In them Côté explores, in a very different manner, the interiority of feelings and memories, as shown by the titles of certain works: for example, Vermont or Terrain d’athlétisme. His current work demonstrates a dramatic change of view, a shift from “a state of exterior to interior observation.” The artist is no longer engaged in an extended consideration of the barrage of images and information inundating every aspect of society; he has refocused on a sensory, intuitive world, the result of a more instinctive and spontaneous, as well as introspective, approach and execution. Also included in the exhibition is a group of three canvases entitled Les temps intérieurs: decidedly more figurative, these works are inspired by, among other things, the films of Éric Rohmer.
Taking nothing for granted, Côté continually explores and tests the possibilities of the medium of painting and its intrinsic limits. Like a constantly evolving laboratory, his painting creates links with other, previous series, notably Flux-Schizo (2010) and Repli (2017), which have a number of formal similarities. The colour palette—at times tawny, at others acid—reinforces this affinity, but the content differs. Nonetheless, the consistency of his work is maintained in his handling of paint, in which multiple brushstrokes are apparent.
Louis-Philippe Côté explains that “to start with, painting originates in a thought prompted by an encounter. Far from entirely resulting from such a phenomenon, painting is more the outcome of an impulse. To paint is to be open to what suddenly appears, and the limit of that progression lies in the moment when certainty persists.”
 Quote from an interview with Louis-Philippe Côté conducted by Gabrielle Desgagné-Duclos that appeared in Vie des arts, No. 259 (Summer 2020).
image: Terrain d’athlétisme, 2021, huile sur lin, 162 x 130 cm