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Bergeron's own designation of his style as 'prismatic' provides fur-
ther clues to the geometrical patterning and vivid colouring, 30 while
accounting for the aura of 'transparency' on the surface, as if seen
through a prism, an effect that Bergeron conveys masterfully, despite
working solely with a palette knife. Taking the houses, seen at an angle
and thus from their corners, as a point of departure, we can read the
lines as the front edges of a series of triangular prisms and the sides as
their facets, running away from the lines at the same 45-degree angle as
the house walls. In effect, the overall illusion is that of a village per-
ceived through a prism or as a prismatic field with some ten parallel
lines intersecting the irregular shoreline, which functions as a sort of
break-off point, above which, unlike below, 'nature' prevails over 'cul-
ture.' 31 The light, coming from the left, reflects brilliantly off the side of
each prism, its white matching that of the snow, and refracts into col-
ours as it passes through the prism to its right facet. Blue, the slowest
colour in the spectrum, thus lingers low, adjacent to the white light,
while the more vivid hues dance above it, conveying the second sense
of 'prismatic,' which is 'colourful' even 'kaleidoscopic,' an apt descrip-
tion of the painting. Thus, in addition to the visual ambiguities of time
and perspective mentioned earlier, there is a further tension in the
painting between the shallow 'prismatic' space of the frontal plane and
the deep 'perspectival' space of the middle and far grounds, along with
a vibratory effect produced by the juxtaposition of the complementary
colours blue and orange, the former appearing to recede, the latter to
advance - all of which adds to the painting's dynamism, despite the
seemingly static qualities of both the village and the prism through
which it is made to appear.
The ultimate space is, of course, not that of the village, nor even that
of the visual field, but that of the canvas itself, and the ultimate subject
is that of the painter's freedom, not only from the traditional rules of
perspective and optics, but especially from those of traditional painting
that govern the representation of light and colour, line and perspective.
This painting is a reconfiguration of reality and an aesthetic statement
that reflects the contemporary directions of landscape art in Quebec,
based as it is on a traditional setting yet experimenting with new ways
of representing it.
It is precisely the freedom of (and from) perspective, along with an
even more pronounced application of pigment than in his earlier works
(chapter nine), that characterize the latest phase in Raynald Leclerc's
painting, as in Vue du ciel (Québec) from 2010 (plate 16). Here the title
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