Canadian abstract painter and sculptor, Claude Tousignant, was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1932. He is a world-renowned leading figure in modern art, especially through his paintings, always striving to get to the essence of art. He started his stylistic explorations in France during the early 50′s.
In this video, you will see the exhibit entitled Claude Tousignant, A Retrospective, exhibited last year at the The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, that covered the artist’s career of fifty-plus years through ninety-one works, including drawings, paintings and sculptures, from his famous Monochrome orangé to his most recent pieces.
Encompassing the range of modernist expression, Tousignant’s pictorial practice is unique in the history of Canadian art. Throughout his career, the artist has shown an unwavering commitment to abstract art. From the outset, he was closely identified with the development of a resolutely non-representational form of Canadian art. He moved quickly towards a hard-edge approach, (uniform, sharply defined areas of colour), which he used to explore the potential of the colour field and the pure geometric form.
Distinguishing himself from most of his contemporaries, he began creating serial compositions in which the whole picture plane is dynamized by the intrinsic and expressive properties of colour. However, it was his famous Gongs, concentric rings of colour, that established his reputation in the late 1960s.
He has also always simultaneously explored the realm of sculpture, producing a corpus that ranges from the modest wood constructions of the 1960s to the recent Modulateurs luso chromatiques series of monumental sculptures in painted aluminum, where the intense colour cloaking each piece seems to vibrate in the surrounding space. In these works, Tousignant continues to probe the relationship between colour and light.
Over the course of his career, Claude Tousignant has won the prestigious Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award (presented by the Canada Council for the Arts for outstanding achievement by mid-career artists), in 1974, and the Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas (the highest visual-arts distinction awarded by the Québec government), in 1989.