Jean-Pierre Gauthier, a conceptual artist, sculptor and musician makes kinetic sculptures and installations complete with sound. His materials are every day cast off industrial objects. His work seems organic and like a new form of life. Gauthier explores the boundaries between order and chaos and his playful installations transport the viewer into a crazy world of singular experiences. His work often pokes fun at the viewer while it is, at the same time, somehow poetic.
In a 2006 interview Gauthier said, "My intention is to identify and build a system to control every detail in the production so that once installed and presented in public, the installation reorganizes and transforms itself. Losing control is to let things go by themselves.”
Of Gauthier’s exhibit Recent Work at Jack Shainman Gallery, Roberta Smith of the New York Times wrote “The most plentiful sculptures, collectively titled "Hypoxia," are kinetic wall pieces consisting of dangling tangles of twisted metal tubing and cables combined with expandable braided sleeving, small motors, speakers, microphones and amplifiers as well as aquarium compressors. (The work of Sarah Sze and occasionally Judy Pfaff may come to mind.) Many of the elements move in circumscribed ways, suggesting delicate insects or forms of sea life. The attempt to match up the actions of any single work with the hissing, chirping and clicks emanating from its speakers can result in a very concentrated experience of visual-audio perception.”
Gauthier was born in 1965 in Quebec and lives and works in Montreal. In 1990 he was awarded a B.A. in Visual Arts and in 1995 an M.A. in Visual Arts from the University of Quebec. He was the winner of the prestigious Sobey Art Award (2004), the Victor Martyn Lynch-Stauton Award (2006) and Louis-Comtois Award (2012). He has exhibited his audio and kinetic installations across Canada, in Europe, Asia and America. Notable among his group exhibitions are Biennale de Montréal (2000), Electrohype (2006), Lunds Konsthall, and Transmediale.06 – Smile Machines, Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2006), Tonspur_expended, Vienna, Austria (2010), Manif, Québec (2012), FIMAV (2012), Alive/Éveil, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2013) and Electrohype (2013), Värnhemstrogets Elektroniska Skulpturpark, Malmö, Sweden. A retrospective of his work Jean-Pierre Gauthier: Machines at Play was organized by the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and was showed in five Canadian Museums and the Akron Art Museum, Ohio.
Jack Shainman Gallery has represented Gauthier since 2003 when he had a solo show called Sporadic Exchange followed by Jean-Pierre Gauthier: Rut in (2005) and Jean-Pierre Gauthier: Recent Work in (2011).