The Canadian Art Database
 

   
VIDEO PORTRAITS

Michèle Drouin

Video clipsSome videos are in French - Certains clips vidéo sont en anglais.
Video clips © CCCA & Linda Corbett_Eyeris Inc. 2006
Note: some videos may take 15-30 seconds to preload before playing


History

Michèle Drouin began her formal training at L’École des Beaux- Arts in Québec city in 1951. Influenced by the figurative style of Jean Paul Lemieux, she painted and studied ceramics. By the early 1960’s Michèle began writing, becoming a celebrated poet on radio and in print. In the 1970’s her painting was influenced by Robert Delaunay and contemporary American abstraction. But Michèle was determined to created a personal style that wasn’t hard-edged - one that reflected feminism and sensuality, one that played with visual contrasts.

running time: 4:03
start

  videoportrait images


Triangle

1983 was a turning point in Drouin’s work, when she was invited to attend the Triangle Artist’s Studio in Upstate New York. Sculptor, Anthony Caro had begun the intensive workshop where artists were encouraged to experiment with their process. For the first time, Michèle found herself challenged to paint on a platform on the floor. After her initial panic, she was able to break free of the hard-edged abstraction she had been dissatisfied with and begin a new phase.

running time: 3:11
start


  videoportrait images


Process

In this clip, Michèle describes her process commenting that the excitement of using colour creates the sensation that she is working in a medium that has no limits. But because Drouin works on the floor, the sheer physicality of painting for her is like an assault on the canvas - pushing and balancing, working against the resistance of the material.

running time: 4:03
start




  videoportrait images


Painting

The Montréal art scene in the 1960’s and early 1970’s was dominated by the birth of pure abstract painting - much of it hard-edged. Influenced by the work of her contemporaries and of the women’s liberation movement, Michèle developed her own style - something freer, “with a lot of curves”. But by 1983, she was frustrated with her direction and joined the experimental workshop at Triangle Artist’s Studio in Upstate New York. The experience completely freed her and since that time, “its been like another life”.
running time: 2:59
start


  videoportrait images


Assault

The inspiration for Michèle’s work comes from memories, sensations, and strong experiences about the difficulties of life in the world. She plans her large paintings by first creating small acrylic studies on paper. Next, she paints with her canvas on the floor using large brushes and sponges. Drouin’s technique is very physical - incorporating the whole body to gain control over the large canvas. The first stage, she says, is like an assault, but as the image develops, a dialogue begins where the artist must listen to what the painting demands.

running time: 2:52
start


  videoportrait images


Copyright ©1997, 2005
, Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art. All rights reserved