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Judith Cowan

Nouvelle Figuration en Gravure Qué;bécoise (1979)
Musée Beaulne, Coaticook, Québec, January 14 - February 11, 1979

artscanada, May/June 1979, #226/227, pg. 67.
[ 303 words ]


The travelling show Nouvelle figuration en Gravure Qué;bécoise, seen at the Musé;e Beaulne in Coaticook, Quebec, is a selection of prints from the permanent collection of the Musé;e d'art contemporain in Montreal. Seventeen Quebec printmakers are represented, and a variety of techniques: silkscreen, lithography, etching and wood engraving.  The prints are accompanied by a slideshow with recorded commentary (in French) showing related works by the same artists and giving the viewer an idea of the recent history of printmaking in Quebec, and of some of its objectives.

Particularly striking for delicacy and precision are Sindon Gé;cin's Thé;ophanie (1974), filled with lines of flowing hills, air and trees; Pierre Té;treault's Ô cette demeure en ce pays du soleil levant (1974), which might well serve as an illustration for the Thousand and One Nights with its gilt and mysterious cosmography; and Gé;rard Tremblay's Le soleil tourne carré; (1971), a composition of seductive vegetable forms and surprising spatial delimitations. Both André; Montpetit with Pleure pas Arthur of 1966 (the title is a pun on a French word for spigot – chantepleure) and Michel Fortier with his Le pé;ril jaune, mon oeil c'est Gilbert dé;guisé; (1969), display a preference for strong forms, uncomplicated colours and a humourous message.  More ominous feelings are conveyed by Kittie Bruneau's La gougou (1966), which contrasts dynamic slashing forms with a landscape of peaceful hills; and by Monique Charbonneau's Les tribulations du petit Antoine (1971), which shows a little boy escaping from the picture, leaving behind him death and the ages of man.

The impression left by this selection of prints is one of freshness and variety, for it reveals a generous range of moods and personalities, delicate, bold, or thoughtful.

artscanada, May/June 1979, #226/227, pg. 67.

Text: © Judith Cowan. All rights reserved.

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