Atlas Paintings

The Atlas Paintings is a series of paintings made using World Atlas pigments. The paintings are part of a larger body of work entitled National Geographic Atlas of the World, which is centered around a World Atlas from which Roch-Cuerrier erased the cartographic content. The pigments were collected using a meticulous sanding process to remove the ink from the supporting pages. To fix the pigments on the canvas, the artist chose a resin similar to that of Yves Klein used to make his famous blue monochromes. The particularity of the medium being that when it dries, it makes the pigments come up to the surface, preserving the integrity of the colour and creating a powdery effect on the surface. 

At the time the artist started this project, the maps from which the pigments were sanded off were outdated. Cartography is transient: borders change, new territories are discovered, countries are created or disappear. By removing the pigments from the Atlas and transposing them to a canvas, these colours enter a different context of understanding. The pigments and the information retained in their respective colour is now liberated from the constraints of the printed images. The monochrome format reconfigures through abstraction the World previously illustrated in the Atlas: it opens up the interpretation of these Atlas colours to a new potential.

Julie Roch-Cuerrier, Atlantic Ocean, World Oceans, The World, 2018, World Atlas pigments on canvas, 47 x 62 cm
Installation view, Regards situés, Centre Skol, Montreal, 2022 Ⓒ Guy L’Heureux
Julie Roch-Cuerrier, The World’s History Diluted Again, 2015, World Atlas pigments on canvas, 47 x 62 cm
Installation view, Écologies/Ecologies, Galerie AVE, Montreal, 2017