De Fortune

Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand

19 April to 27 May, 2023 Opening 19 April, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00PM

at Chris Andrews

1660 Rue Villeray, Montréal, QC H2E 1H4, Canada

april april and Chris Andrews are pleased to present De Fortune, a solo exhibition by Montréal-based, multidisciplinary artist Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand.

De Fortune assembles nearly 100 mixed-media drawings and sculptures produced over the last three years. Accompanying these works are six songs written, performed, and produced by the artist. Such breadth articulates what, for Van Der Donckt-Ferrand, is a daily practice of dreamwork, processing, and manifestation. Presented together for the first time, these drawings, objects, and music record heartbreak, fantasy, death, ceremony, and pleasure in love.

Van Der Donckt-Ferrand’s aesthetic strategies straddle outcomes both restrained and decorative, often circling a guiding question of how to draw the invisible. Swirling in personal narratives, the drawings shift from minimal, graphite-forward renderings (De Fortune and Ange de Neige) to maximal bursts of colored pencil, marker, and collaged elements (My Great Grandmother was an Indian Princess and Maison Longue). Daydreams and desires comingle with mourning and fears. The artist approaches each with a diaristic sensibility, merging image and text to pursue a poesis unlimited in emotional scope. Ex lovers, apparitions, and trees arrive pictorially in excess of outside logic.

In some drawings, Van Der Donckt-Ferrand’s writing in graphite aids concisely in a descriptive fashion (CROIX DU MT-ROYAL), while in others, poetry unlocks a path to a fuller picture:

Fantasy – my husband picking berries – si al lago me tirara, SK Novembre en Septembre. Une rangée d’arbres noirs.

and

Voile. Un arbre se penche vers moi et je ne sais pas ce qu’il me dit. S’il me dit quelque chose. Merci. Fleurs qui tombent. Une fleur, c’est toujours au boutte.

Van Der Donckt-Ferrand’s trilingualism dances through meaning to produce a specific yet capacious lexicon, a kind of Peruvian–Huron-Wendat–Québecois pop-cosmology.

Across two tables in the centre of the gallery sit small-scale assemblage sculptures, each comprising detritus of everyday life. With bells, bows, sticks, and clips, the artist constructs these small relics as conduits of feeling; all Untitled, the sculptures magick and locate the stories told through the drawings and songs in real time. Van Der Donckt-Ferrand decorates objects of surmised significance—a pregnancy test, old dog bones—into things entirely otherwise, like camp talismans or trophies.

De Fortune’s fidelity to the poetics of and purpose found in drawing can be further understood in the wake of artists like Bill Traylor (1854-1949); Aloïse Corbaz (1886-1964); James Castle (1899-1977); Cecilia Vicuña (b. 1948) and Shuvinai Ashoona (b. 1961). For all of these artists, drawing was and is an extension of the self, of one’s being and consciousness. It is a method of exposing the richness of life.


Press Release
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Eyeshadow container, ribbon flowers, ribbon heart, metal feather, thread. 5 x 5.5 x 1 inches.

Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand (b. 1995, Montréal, QC) lives and works in Montréal. She draws, makes objects and sings. The artist makes music under the name La Cucurucha. She has exhibited at april april (New York), Pound Maker Historical Museum (Saskatchewan), The Loon (Ontario), and Antonini Museum (Nasca).  

Van Der Donckt-Ferrand served as Artistic Director to the Indigenous-run film and performance company Miyawata Culture from 2019 to 2022, and through which she illustrated two publications, Ashes and Embers: Stories of the Delmas Indian Residential School (2022) and The Story of Broken Knife (2020). Since 2019, Van Der Donckt-Ferrand has run Centre du Rat, a community project space in the basement of her home at the foot of Mont Royal.

De Fortune

Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand

19 April to 27 May, 2023
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Piqûre de Stique-Mou, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Homme Léger sur Femme, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 10 x 8.5 inches.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Ange de neige, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 10 x 8.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Voile, 2020. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 10 x 8.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Cholificación Activada, 2020. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Casa Casa Casa Casa Casa, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Croix du Mont Royal, 2023. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Installation view.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Fenêtre sur ça, 2023. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 10 x 8.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Croche-Patte, 2023. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. La Belle au Bois Dormant, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Les Peupliers, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 10 x 8.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Sans Titre, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 10 x 8.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Tus Ancestros te Acompañan y te Cuidan, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Juntas, Siempre, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Sans titre, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Sans titre, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Pelea, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Mille Horizons Empilés, 2020. Pencil crayon and graphite on paper on cardboard. 11.5 x 16 inches.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Positive Thinking, 2023. Sunglass lens, plastic stars, stick on mirrors, stickers, wire, thread. 3.5 x 3 x 2.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Nipple cover, birch, coin, thread, rock, hair accessory, bead, ribbon. 3.5 x 3 x 2 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Dog chewed stick, belly button piercing, wood, fabric dye. 2.5 x 6.5 x 1 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Dog chewed bone, sexy belt (wire and plastic), wire, ribbon. 2.5 x 12 x 2.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Nipple cover, marker, banana wrapper, chocolate aluminum wrap, metal thread. 3 x 3 x 1.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Positive Thinking, 2023. Sunglass lens, sequins, ribbons, wire, glue. 4 x 2 x 2 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Beads, felt, thread, bells, paper.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2021. Cattail, paper ribbon, wire, ribbon. 8 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Plastic microphone, ribbons, glue, horse hair, dog hair, wire. 11 x 13 x 6 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2020. Pregnancy test, buttons, plastic luchadore chewed by dog, ribbons, bracelet with bells, comb. 3 x 10 x 1.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2022. Rusted metal, alpaca hair (yarn), bells, deerhide used to hair tie and then tied to dog pendant, button. 11 x 5 x 0.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Eyeshadow container, ribbon flowers, ribbon heart, metal feather, thread. 5 x 5.5 x 1 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Dog chewed beef bone, sequin and string embellishment. 3.5 x 3 x 1.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Earring packaging, earrings, ribbons, plastic net, wire, glue, cardboard. 4.5 x 3 x 1.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Bubble maker, yellow sulphur butterfly, 
bells, ribbons. 6.5 x 4 x 2.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2020. Birch, ribbon, pencil crayon, sticker, glue, ribbon. 8 x 7 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2020. Birch, metal, earrings, beads, bracelet, velcro, dog hair, horse hair, goose plume, ribbons, graphite, cattail. 13 x 6 x 7 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Pregnancy test, ribbons, plastified icon, balls of synthetic fabric, cattail. 4 x 8 x 3 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2022. Dog chewed ball, bells, earrings, cattail, ribbon. 7.5 x 4 x 4 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Eyeshadow container, ribbon flowers, ribbon heart, metal feather, thread. 5 x 5.5 x 1 inches.

De Fortune

Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand

19 April to 27 May, 2023 Opening 19 April, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00PM

at Chris Andrews

1660 Rue Villeray, Montréal, QC H2E 1H4, Canada

april april and Chris Andrews are pleased to present De Fortune, a solo exhibition by Montréal-based, multidisciplinary artist Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand.

De Fortune assembles nearly 100 mixed-media drawings and sculptures produced over the last three years. Accompanying these works are six songs written, performed, and produced by the artist. Such breadth articulates what, for Van Der Donckt-Ferrand, is a daily practice of dreamwork, processing, and manifestation. Presented together for the first time, these drawings, objects, and music record heartbreak, fantasy, death, ceremony, and pleasure in love.

Van Der Donckt-Ferrand’s aesthetic strategies straddle outcomes both restrained and decorative, often circling a guiding question of how to draw the invisible. Swirling in personal narratives, the drawings shift from minimal, graphite-forward renderings (De Fortune and Ange de Neige) to maximal bursts of colored pencil, marker, and collaged elements (My Great Grandmother was an Indian Princess and Maison Longue). Daydreams and desires comingle with mourning and fears. The artist approaches each with a diaristic sensibility, merging image and text to pursue a poesis unlimited in emotional scope. Ex lovers, apparitions, and trees arrive pictorially in excess of outside logic.

In some drawings, Van Der Donckt-Ferrand’s writing in graphite aids concisely in a descriptive fashion (CROIX DU MT-ROYAL), while in others, poetry unlocks a path to a fuller picture:

Fantasy – my husband picking berries – si al lago me tirara, SK Novembre en Septembre. Une rangée d’arbres noirs.

and

Voile. Un arbre se penche vers moi et je ne sais pas ce qu’il me dit. S’il me dit quelque chose. Merci. Fleurs qui tombent. Une fleur, c’est toujours au boutte.

Van Der Donckt-Ferrand’s trilingualism dances through meaning to produce a specific yet capacious lexicon, a kind of Peruvian–Huron-Wendat–Québecois pop-cosmology.

Across two tables in the centre of the gallery sit small-scale assemblage sculptures, each comprising detritus of everyday life. With bells, bows, sticks, and clips, the artist constructs these small relics as conduits of feeling; all Untitled, the sculptures magick and locate the stories told through the drawings and songs in real time. Van Der Donckt-Ferrand decorates objects of surmised significance—a pregnancy test, old dog bones—into things entirely otherwise, like camp talismans or trophies.

De Fortune’s fidelity to the poetics of and purpose found in drawing can be further understood in the wake of artists like Bill Traylor (1854-1949); Aloïse Corbaz (1886-1964); James Castle (1899-1977); Cecilia Vicuña (b. 1948) and Shuvinai Ashoona (b. 1961). For all of these artists, drawing was and is an extension of the self, of one’s being and consciousness. It is a method of exposing the richness of life.


Press Release

Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand (b. 1995, Montréal, QC) lives and works in Montréal. She draws, makes objects and sings. The artist makes music under the name La Cucurucha. She has exhibited at april april (New York), Pound Maker Historical Museum (Saskatchewan), The Loon (Ontario), and Antonini Museum (Nasca).  

Van Der Donckt-Ferrand served as Artistic Director to the Indigenous-run film and performance company Miyawata Culture from 2019 to 2022, and through which she illustrated two publications, Ashes and Embers: Stories of the Delmas Indian Residential School (2022) and The Story of Broken Knife (2020). Since 2019, Van Der Donckt-Ferrand has run Centre du Rat, a community project space in the basement of her home at the foot of Mont Royal.

Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Piqûre de Stique-Mou, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Homme Léger sur Femme, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 10 x 8.5 inches.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Ange de neige, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 10 x 8.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Voile, 2020. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 10 x 8.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Cholificación Activada, 2020. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Casa Casa Casa Casa Casa, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Croix du Mont Royal, 2023. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Installation view.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Fenêtre sur ça, 2023. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 10 x 8.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Croche-Patte, 2023. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. La Belle au Bois Dormant, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Les Peupliers, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 10 x 8.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Sans Titre, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 10 x 8.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Tus Ancestros te Acompañan y te Cuidan, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Juntas, Siempre, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Sans titre, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Sans titre, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Pelea, 2022. Pencil crayon and graphite on matboard. 8.5 x 10 inches.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Mille Horizons Empilés, 2020. Pencil crayon and graphite on paper on cardboard. 11.5 x 16 inches.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Installation view.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Positive Thinking, 2023. Sunglass lens, plastic stars, stick on mirrors, stickers, wire, thread. 3.5 x 3 x 2.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Nipple cover, birch, coin, thread, rock, hair accessory, bead, ribbon. 3.5 x 3 x 2 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Dog chewed stick, belly button piercing, wood, fabric dye. 2.5 x 6.5 x 1 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Dog chewed bone, sexy belt (wire and plastic), wire, ribbon. 2.5 x 12 x 2.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Nipple cover, marker, banana wrapper, chocolate aluminum wrap, metal thread. 3 x 3 x 1.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Positive Thinking, 2023. Sunglass lens, sequins, ribbons, wire, glue. 4 x 2 x 2 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Beads, felt, thread, bells, paper.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2021. Cattail, paper ribbon, wire, ribbon. 8 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Plastic microphone, ribbons, glue, horse hair, dog hair, wire. 11 x 13 x 6 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2020. Pregnancy test, buttons, plastic luchadore chewed by dog, ribbons, bracelet with bells, comb. 3 x 10 x 1.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2022. Rusted metal, alpaca hair (yarn), bells, deerhide used to hair tie and then tied to dog pendant, button. 11 x 5 x 0.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Eyeshadow container, ribbon flowers, ribbon heart, metal feather, thread. 5 x 5.5 x 1 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Dog chewed beef bone, sequin and string embellishment. 3.5 x 3 x 1.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Earring packaging, earrings, ribbons, plastic net, wire, glue, cardboard. 4.5 x 3 x 1.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Bubble maker, yellow sulphur butterfly, 
bells, ribbons. 6.5 x 4 x 2.5 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2020. Birch, ribbon, pencil crayon, sticker, glue, ribbon. 8 x 7 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2020. Birch, metal, earrings, beads, bracelet, velcro, dog hair, horse hair, goose plume, ribbons, graphite, cattail. 13 x 6 x 7 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2023. Pregnancy test, ribbons, plastified icon, balls of synthetic fabric, cattail. 4 x 8 x 3 inches.
Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. Untitled, 2022. Dog chewed ball, bells, earrings, cattail, ribbon. 7.5 x 4 x 4 inches.