Rachel Uffner Gallery is pleased to present Postcards from the Edge, Strauss Bourque-LaFrance’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.
Over the past year, Bourque-LaFrance has been working out of a makeshift studio in an old house in the Hudson Valley. Built as a residential home in the 1920’s, the space later became a paint store, and has sat vacant for several years. The definitive character of the interior, including scratched wooden floors and walls speckled and bruised by layers of peeling wallpaper and plaster, has inspired the artist’s layered and labored touch. The remote location and regional mood haunts the works in Postcards from the Edge.
In this exhibition, Bourque-LaFrance continues to emphasize the tactile nature and sculptural capacities of painting. By layering canvas with paint, adhesives, and collage, the artist renders the surface rigid and paper-like. Scraps and cuts, rescued from past experiments and what the artist calls “failed paintings” are recontextualized into the grounds for new pieces, adding layers and nuance to his compositions. Materials and images embedded in the works originate from an array of sources—collected books, found fabrics, studio debris—and act as keys, guides, clues, and footnotes of the artist’s process and research.
Bourque-LaFrance uses poetic word play as another narrative layer, bringing in cultural references, personal psychologies, and comedy into the mostly abstract compositions. The show title Postcards from the Edge is borrowed from the Carrie Fisher novel of the same name. “The edge is a palpable position and space today, both mentally and physically,” the artist notes. “What constitutes ‘the edge’ is so subjective and is constantly shifting.”
Many of the works in the show can be viewed as vistas, landscapes, or vantage points—like a seashore, a field from above, or a cluster of stars—yet they confidently resist total representation. In a sense, these are his postcards, delivered with a wink, an eye roll, and an open heart. In exploring this existential position, Bourque-LaFrance knowingly operates within the confines of historical painting space—celebrating the power and optimism rather than being crushed by its weight.