Eliane Saheurs traded one homeland of spectacular mountains for another, and found her artistic voice between ancient stability and endless change. Landscapes, variously abstracted, are her muse, and they crackle action and life. What the viewer sees is up to the viewer, as Saheurs, even at her most literal, makes no orders. Her scale and perspective fire the imagination, and only the artist’s reverence for our rugged land is indisputable.
by Peter Simpson March 2021
Eliane Saheurs came to painting through an early introduction to photography, where unexpected things happen in the process of making art, and sometimes make everything better.
When a young Saheurs worked with her father in his darkroom, and later in the field and darkroom with her mineralogist/geologist husband, she would have seen how curious shapes appear on fresh prints — those small but larger-than-life echos of dust, an eyelash hair, a smudge on a lens, or a tiny, Cohen-esque crack where the light gets in. The shapes were blemishes, but a blemish can beautify, like the right scar in the right place on the right face.
Those serendipitous glitches may have later inspired Saheurs, for such shapes energetically populate her paintings. Here it is not their origin but their purpose that’s inscrutable; who knows what intent is buried in those shapes, what emotions fire those vivid colours, what desires fuels those tireless motions? You can be certain only that the shapes are busy, at times frenetic in their energy, as they spin and fly in all directions.
Saheurs was born in Thun, Switzerland. She moved to Canada — trading one homeland of spectacular mountains for another with its own backbone of rock — and eventually she found painting as her artistic voice.
She moved to Ottawa in the 1980s and began a decade of study at Algonquin College and the Ottawa School of Art. She worked with names well-known in Ottawa — Blair Sharpe, Kathy Gillis, Jeff Stellick and others — and studied with artists who hailed from New York to New Mexico to Austria to Tokyo. Her work was included in Saatchi’s “Best of 2017” catalogue. It also hangs in the City of Ottawa’s collection, and in private collections across the city’s corporate, legal, political and diplomatic offices — including, not surprisingly, the Embassy of Switzerland.
The Swiss landscape and that early photography exposure in the geologic fields with her husband made an impression on her painting as indelible as those long-ago darkroom blemishes. Landforms are the stolid foundation of her art.
One feels instinctively that her scenes a
The furors of geological forces inside the earth’s crust create new organic and geometric forms and intricate spaces. Geometrical relics of crystal symmetry emerge; volcanic eruption, weathering and fragmentation transform the rocks and minerals into new structures and mysterious landscapes; vivid colours arise from layers of oxidations and erosion.
All this led me to create a new group of paintings: Never seen spaces. Spaces with organic and geometric forms, tumults, chaos, depth, unusual tones and shimmering hues.
Peter Simpson, March 2021
Commercial College in Bern.
Arts at Algonquin college Ottawa
Ottawa School of Art
University of Ottawa (Art history)
Artist residence in North Adams Massachusetts
Workshops with professional artists in Switzerland, Canada and US.
Virtual Art Auction at the Ottawa Art Gallery
Dec. 11 - 18, 2020
Enchanted Space XI, 40"x 40" is on view at the Ottawa Art Gallery, Annexe gallery, until September 27, 2020
Solo exhibition at Galerie Jean-Claude Bergeron, Ottawa, Ontario. From October 31 - November 24, 2019
Opening November 3, 2019
LeParty at Ottawa Art Gallery, May 30, 2019
Ottawa Art Gallery Annexe, several paintings exhibited
Dec. 1 - Jan. 2, 2019
Open Studio Dec. 2 from 11am to 5pm
Voyageur Drive Ottawa
Toronto Art Fair, Booth A 21, with Galerie Jean-Claude Bergeron Ottawa
October 25 - 29, 2018
Open Art Studio June 9 - 10 June 2018
Opening Annexe Gallery (3 paintings) at the
New Ottawa Art Gallery
April 27, 2018
Toronto Art Fair with Galerie Jean-Claude Bergeron, Ottawa, Ontario
October 26 - 30, 2017
Galerie Jean-Claude Bergeron, Ottawa, Ontario
25 years celebration
October 18 to November 11, 2017
Exhibition at Rideau tennis club Ottawa
April 8 to July 31, 2017
Solo exhibition at Galerie Bergeron, Ottawa
from August 25 to September 18, 2016
2019 Galerie Jean-Claude Bergeron
2016 Galerie Jean-Claude Bergeron, Espaces inédits
2015 Gallery Sivarulrasa, Almonte
2014 Trinity Gallery, Shenkman Center for the Arts
2013 Galerie Bergeron, peintures récentes, October
2011 Trinity Gallery, Shenkman Center for the Arts, 2010 Galerie Jean-Claude Bergeron, Ottawa:
2009 Trinity Gallery, Shenkman Center for the Arts, 2006 Galerie J.Cl. Bergeron, Ottawa
2005 Art Rental and Sales, Ottawa Art Gallery
2003 Gloucester Gallery, Ottawa
2002 Alliance Française Ottawa: Recent paintings
2001 Signatures Gallery, Ottawa: Peintures récentes
2000 Gallery Telpaz Kanata: Recent paintings
1999 Galerie Château Cartier, Aylmer
1998 Municipal Gallery, Visual Arts Orléans
1998 Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
1997 Atrium Gallery, Nepean, Ontario
1996 Galerie J.C. Bergeron, Ottawa: Monotypes
1994 Ottawa International Airport: Landforms
1994 Gloucester City Hall: Forces de la terre
1993 Maison de la culture de Gatineau
1993 Galerie Intersection, Ottawa
1992 Alliance Française Ottawa: Peintures récentes