Artist Spotlight: Karine Fréchette

Wide spectrum of bright colors, illusion of movement, complex composition with psychedelic elements – that what defines Karine’s Fréchette art work. Her art can be described as a blend of Op art from the 70s and abstract art, especially when it comes to the composition. Karine’s art practice is inspired by other artists such as Bridget Riley, Claude Monet or Frank Stella. One of her biggest inspirations is Czech abstract painter Frank Kupka and his visionary and mystic composition. When one comes closer to Karine’s paintings, they are almost hypnotized by the entrancing wave-like patterns.

I have a feeling I found my artist style by accident. It just happened. Somewhen during my masters I start to do those trippy, almost hallucinating imagines and then I just lost control”.


Karine is a Canadian painter, based in Montreal. The city itself had a big impact on her art work. Montreal has not only a long-time history of an abstract painting, but it is also full of contemporary art and blooming cultural scene. At the same time, while living there, you don’t see big names that often. Most of the famous paintings can be seen only on the internet. That’s where Karine’s interest in digital word, 3D modeling and scientific imagery comes from.


She chose Visual and Media Arts as a major for her Bachelors, which she studied at Université du Québec à Montréal. It was a multidisciplinary program, that combined video art, glass, painting, ceramic and other art techniques. “I got completely lost there. I didn’t know what I actually want to do. For a long time, I was really into video art and you actually can see a big impact of that on my current art. But then I decided to focus on painting”. Karine obtained her Master’s degree in Painting and Drawing at Concordia University.

Her artist path was pretty straight forward, as Karine never did anything else but art. She always felt that the most meaningful thing she could do is to paint. “To be honest first I thought it is impossible or even too ambitious to have pretensions to become a professional artist. But I just kept doing what I enjoyed. It took me some time to get the confident to say: yes, I am an artist and that what I do in my life”. In 2018 Karine won a Joseph Plaskett Award in Painting, which helps fund emerging Canadian painters who will live, create artwork and travel in Europe for 9 months. That’s how she found herself at Pilotenkueche residency in Leipzig.

Here Karine is trying to work with new materials and apply new techniques. Instead of traditional canvas, for the current exhibition she used slightly transparent fabric and neon colors to create an illusion of flowing waves which represent circles of life. As much as she likes Op art, she doesn’t really like to follow regular shapes. To achieve more organic lines, she just tore a piece of paper and used it as her shape. “Usually there is no plan or even a sketch beforehand. It is a pure improvisation. I like that these is always something between control and working blind. I think it is important to have a feeling that you are working a little bit blind even if its controlled”.

Despite the fact, that it has been almost 10 years since Karine started her artist career, she still keeps experimenting with her style and trying out new things. “Even though I know that my style is not going to change radically, I am really scared to stuck in one way of doing things, that’s why I always want to move forward”. After the residency at Pilotenkueche, Karin is planning on joining a long-term residency back in Montreal. One of her future plans is also to do a project in which she wants to interact more with the space and light and try to involve audience to discover her painting in a new way. Depending on where a visitor stands, he or she can see different dimensions and the drawing become something different.

written by Kristina Nizamova

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You can see Karine’s work in the following Pilotenkueche International Art Program shows:

Elsewhere a Blue Line and the Absurdity of a Ghost on a Stone 

Open: Sun 19 – Sun 2 June 2019, 10AM – 6PM (closed Mondays)
Location: Kunstkraftwerk, Saalfelder Str. 8, 04179 Leipzig

Wrestling with Impermanence 

Vernissage: Fri 21 June 2019, 7PM
Open: Sat 22 – Wed 26 June 2019 1PM-5PM
Location: PILOTENKUECHE, 2nd Floor, Franz-Flemming-Str. 9, 04179 Leipzig, Germany
Performance: To be announced

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