Yves Gaucher, T.D.S., 1988
Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 460 cm, each element: 180 x 230 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, © Estate of Yves Gaucher / SODRAC (2015)
At the beginning of the 1980s the figure of the triangle disappears from Gaucher’s work, or, rather, it is reduced simply to diagonals. For a few years the paintings are square and subdivided obliquely into three or four vertical panels of unequal rhomboid-like shapes of different colours. Sometimes only a single strictly perpendicular vertical division stabilizes the composition. The individual shapes do not insist on their own definition but challenge the viewer’s orientation by the unstable relations between them, how they lean and push and finally reconcile themselves with the painting’s edges.
The paintings following Er-Rcha, 1978, the final work in his Jericho series, have deeper hues, presaging the dark values of the rich browns, deep magentas and khakis, and sombre blues of the so-called Dark Paintings, like T.D.S., that follow. They are long and subdivided into many parts, mostly by perpendicular edges, but crucially energized by one or two often subtly articulated diagonals, the many disparities finally orchestrated into dynamic equilibrium on a monumental stage.