Sketch | esse arts + opinions


93 - Printemps / été 2018

These various modes, which we convene under the term sketch, have a common preparatory function and consequently, a status of incompletion. The sketch leads to a wide range of strategies and gives rise to new research on the materiality, temporality, and spatiality of a work. To do this, it still takes the traditional route of drawing, painting, and sculpture, and sometimes of new technologies, while also referring to the outline of a movement or a brief posture. Therefore, we designed this issue to reflect the abundance of possibilities and deliberately break away from an essentially discipline-based approach to drawing, focusing instead on the creative intention found in the sketch and the fluctuations of its outcomes.

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Articles à la pièce

Emily Falvey
jake moore & François Morelli
Amy Prouty
Emily Rosamond
Lindsay LeBlanc
Maude Johnson
Anne Cauquelin


The Sketch: A Promise of Dialogue
Sylvette Babin


Drawing Lines
This article questions the importance of unfinishedness in contemporary art and calls for a greater awareness of its role as an ideological category. Using as its point of departure an understanding of the line as both a limit and a means of escape, it explores the work of five artists whose practices engage with concepts of freedom and constraint. In so doing, it attempts to understand how the unfinished can be limiting and, conversely, how limits may set you free.
Emily Falvey

The Sketch Artist: Interview with François Morelli
A conversation between artist-educator François Morelli and author jake moore articulates the spatial nature of the sketch and its role as both expression and evidence of potential. It also lays out the role of pedagogy in Morelli’s extended and hybrid practice. The sketch is figured here not as preparatory or preliminary, but as its own critical gesture, complete even if conditional. Morelli intercuts the dialogue with drawing assignments that he has given in a performative method of exchange that seeks openness but is rooted in response. This generative desire is central to the discussion and to Morelli’s practice.
jake moore

Drawing Inuit Satiric Resilience: Alootook Ipellie’s Decolonial Comics
In this essay, Amy Prouty explores the connection between traditional forms of humour and satire within Inuit culture and the work of Inuit cartoonist Alootook Ipellie. Ipellie’s pen-and-ink illustrations are contextualized as a form of social sanction within the history of Inuit satirical traditions. The author argues that his work exemplifies a revival of these age-old traditions as a decolonial strategy in contemporary art that is aligned with Inuit societal values.
Amy Prouty

The Sketch in the Work of Frances Stark, Jacolby Satterwhite, and Sue Tompkins
What happens when the quickness of the sketch is translated into other media—and, indeed, becomes a sign of this quickness—and of the sketch’s fabled close proximity to thought? In this essay, the author discusses the role of the sketch in the work of three artists who extend the temporalities of sketching by using media including printing, animation, and performance: Frances Stark, Jacolby Satterwhite, and Sue Tompkins.
Emily Rosamond

Sketchy Machines: Propositions Around Three Robotic Artworks
With the increasing presence of machines in public and private life, we continue to find new ways of articulating our relationships with them. In this article, the author uses the sketch as a frame of analysis for machine artworks by Canadian artists David Rokeby, Jean-Pierre Gauthier, and Erin Gee, and argues that the sketch is a fundamentally interdisciplinary and material state that accounts for machines’ complex engagements with human and other-than-human agents. Highlighting the sketch’s unfinished, imperfect, and adaptable qualities, the author attempts to define a “sketchy materiality” as it occurs in robotic art.
Lindsay LeBlanc

Praxis of the Unfinished
Broached through Adam Kinner’s “gestural” work, the association between choreographic production and the sketch makes it possible to examine the performative potential of the unfinished. Relying on unfinished, constantly (re)activated forms, dance can effectively deconstruct and reconstruct, critique and subvert, by means of its very own conventions. Kinner’s project Notes on Visiting (Notas sobre Visitação), produced during a residency in Brazil and expressed in the form of an exhibition and a performance titled Intempestivamente, uses the choreographic gesture to open fertile avenues for evaluating various inflections of the incomplete, along with their potentialities, and even their power of action.
[Translated from the French by Ron Ross]
Maude Johnson

Being Brief
Brevity appears to be the key to art in process; the “brief” posture engages forms of the non finito today: interruption, suspension, rough sketch, disappearance, even destruction. In this regard, the dandy is the ideal brief being: frivolity as the extreme of civility—never imposing on another—life as a non finito perpetually sustained until the silence of the disappearance.
[Translated from the French by Oana Avasilichioaei]
Anne Cauquelin


Andréanne Godin
by Dominique Sirois-Rouleau

Gwenessa Lam
by Dominique Sirois-Rouleau

Julie Ouellet
by Anne-Marie Dubois

Massimo Guerrera
by Sylvie Cotton

Larissa Fassler
by Vanessa Morisset

Louis-Philippe Côté
by David Tomas

Jason Baerg
by Felicity Tayler


Michel F. Côté


Visual Arts

Jacynthe Carrier, Musée d’art de Joliette, Joliette by Aseman Sabet

Amélie Laurence Fortin, Axenéo7, Gatineau by Emmanuelle Choquette

Point of Contact: On Place and the West Coast Imaginary, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria by Kyra Kordoski

Vies performatives, Optica, Montréal by Dominique Sirois-Rouleau

Brendan George Ko, CONTACT Gallery, Toronto by Alex Bowron

Zoe Leonard & Gordon Matta-Clark, Whitney Museum of American Art & The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York by Marie-Ève Charron

Hicham Berrada, Abbaye de Maubuisson, Saint-Ouen l’Aumône by Camille Paulhan

Susan Meiselas, Jeu de Paume, Paris by Emily LaBarge

Plein jeu #1, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims by Vanessa Morisset

Rachal Bradley, Gasworks, London, U.K. by Emily LaBarge

édition / forme / expérimentation (remix), Arprim Centre d’essai en art imprimé, Montréal by Sophie Drouin


Jocelyne Alloucherie, Le cahier des ombres by Christian Roy

Performing Arts

Lost in Trans, The Theatre Centre, Toronto by Fabien Maltais-Bayda

Imitation of Lives, The Glass House, New Canaan by Didier Morelli

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