Cynthia's Revels
September Gallery, Berlin, 2009.

PRESS RELEASE: We’re happy to welcome you to CYNTHIA’S REVELS, the Canadian painter Cynthia Girard’s first solo exhibition, at SEPTEMBER. The English word “revel” means to celebrate boisterously. At the same time, the exhibition title refers to the play Cynthia's Revels, or The Fountain of Self-Love, by the Elizabethan author Ben Jonson, which had its premiere in London in1600. The satirical play was written during the “writers’ quarrel” between Jonson and rival playwrights of the time. In Girard’s painting, the canvas assumes the function of a stage. On monochrome, flat backgrounds she places painted wooden constructions consisting of slats and branches recalling surreal furniture or setting-like architecture which are central to the composition. Wallpapers, room dividers, doors, cages, traps, fabrics: In Girard’s work, the act of painting is united with the equipment and fittings of her paintings, which she populates with birds, mice, worms,

plants, and insects and has them function like characters in an imaginary play. But the fantastic, naïve air of this painting is deceptive: While Girard appropriates elements of Minimal, Hard-Edge, Op-Art or Neo-expressionism in her works and fuses them with influences from folk art, applied art, children’s book illustrations and Outsider Art, she simultaneously examines the established hierarchies of contemporary art. Very consciously, Girard refrains from incorporating professionalism and academically trained virtuosity in her paintings. Her works are narratives on painting itself, analyzing the issue of representation and trying to overcome the conflict between abstraction and figuration, between purely formal and narrative depiction. Like the U.S. painter Laura Owens, animals or mythical creatures assume the role of representatives or helpers that draw the viewer into the picture and facilitate access to the work.
The metaphorical “door” that is open to viewers’ interpretations, however, takes on a very real form in Girard’s work. You can only enter the exhibition space through a door in a gigantic painting extending across the entire width of the gallery. Behind it is an installation consisting of paintings, sound and papier maché sculptures – an enterable picture within a picture which also includes the viewer. Extensive information on the artists and exhibition program at SEPTEMBER can be found at our website

Revels.acrylic on canvas, 2009.canvas 150 X 290 cm, 2008., 121 X 58 X 121 cm, 2008.acrylic on canvas, 2009.210 X 180 cm, 2008.180 X 210 cm, 2008.papier mâché and speaker.190 X 170 cm, 2009.mâché and sound instalation190 X 220 cm, 2008.acrylic on canvas, 2008.150, 2009.