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explains: 'Sa conception artistique est unique et fait appel à différents
matériaux et objets inusités: des peignes, des séringues qu'utilisent les
pâtissiers et, comme matière le Polyfilla et le tabac. Certains tableaux
prennent davantage de distance par rapport à la réalité physique. Ainsi,
dans Jardin vert … on retrouve plutôt un univers poètique où formes et
matières font jaillir une nature microscopique, pleine de vitalité.' ( Un
siècle , 180-1; His artistic conception is unique and involves different
unusual materials and objects: combs, pastry tubes and, for material,
Polyfilla and tobacco. Some paintings are more removed from physical
reality. Thus, in Jardin vert … one finds rather a poetic universe where
forms and matter bring forth a microscopic nature, full of vitality.)
In Jardin vert (plate 9), the spectator seems to assume a bird's-eye per-
spective looking down at the 'garden' since the vertical lines in the mid-
dle do not converge but run straight into the upper horizontal ones, thus
negating the linear conventions that would imply perspective and depth.
At the same time, several of the objects seem to have trailing vertical
lines or 'stems' and thus lie flat on the surface rather than project them-
selves 'upward' towards the hypothetical viewer, further reinforcing the
notion of the canvas as a two-dimensional plane. The only depth or relief
in this painting comes from the texture of the paint itself along with
whatever substances Pellan has contrived to mix with it and whatever
implements he has used to apply it. Buchanan calls the gardens 'pure
essays on the free-flowing decoration of a panel, in which everything is
on the surface and there are no hidden meanings anywhere' (13), and
yet, at the same time, they seem to invite deeper readings.
At first glance, despite Michel Nadeau's contention that 'Pellan aban-
donne toute référence à l'espace paysagiste' (32; Pellan abandons all
reference to landscape space), the painting seems indeed to suggest a
garden, French style at that, with its uniform clusters or 'beds' of simi-
lar colours and shapes or 'species,' arranged somewhat symmetrically
over the rectangular surface of the canvas or 'garden.' Two central clus-
ters, the left one circular, the right one rectilinear, each with objects of
different size and number, close the composition at the bottom, while
the two that flank them close the left and right lower sides. The lines
lying behind the right central cluster thrust upward like columns only
to confront rows of horizontal lines that close the top, while the clusters
of objects on each side of them close off the upper sides. Moreover, ema-
nating from the top left cluster are a series of microbe-like projectiles
that seem to diminish and mutate as they approach the top right clus-
ter, which then seems to explode into fragments. As Lefebvre puts it in
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