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In this artists profile we learn about the abstract artist Claude Tousignant
Tags:Claude Tousignant Profile,claude tousignant biography,claude tousignant history,contemporary artists biography,influential modern artists,modern art history,montreal museum of contemporary arts,watchmojo,claude tousignant
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Rebecca Britain: His art may be abstract but with the career spending over 50 years, his reputation is anything about. Hi! I’m Rebecca Britain Britain and welcome to watchmojo.com and today we’ll be learning more about world renowned modern artist Claude Tousignant.
Tell us what you can about Claude Tousignant? His history and his background.
Mark Lanctot: Montreal Museum of fine arts back at the day, I had my school. I went to school there in the late 40’s and early 50’s and he started his career after a really brief, brief trip to France but he was very disappointed what he saw there and came back to Montreal.
He worked as a furniture designer and started painting full time. Once he started painting, he couldn’t stop and he just went on from the mid 50’s and he’s still painting today.
He became very popular in the mid 60’s with the paintings that are actually behind me. Those were very dynamic or have like fluorescent colors in them, and they were associated to a movement called the pop art.
That was very close to psychedelia but much more structured, much more graphic. And he sort of caught and recuperated by that movement and he showed a lot of in the United States. After that once that movement kind of repeated out, he was still concerned with the same problems that he’s always been concerned with in painting. How’d you like at a painting? How does the painting work in a space? How does the color affect you? How does color work with the shape and all these very formal questions.
So he kind of pushed his explorations in a new direction. In the 70’s and in the 80’s. He discovered that he could go back to a type of painting that he’d only tried very sporadically before monochrome painting. So in the early 80’s, he started working on the series that he’s been working on, off and on for the last 25 years.
Rebecca Britain: What styles in the schools has he been influenced by?
Mark Lanctot: He was very influenced by the early 20th century European art. Piet Mondrian, who was a part of the movie called De Stijl in Amsterdam. That was an international movement that decided that you can’t really tell stories with pictures anymore. Pictures or paintings had to be different from everything we‘ve already seen. Like how can painting—deep more a part of real life? Well if it has to be part of real life, it can’t tell a story because that’s fake, that’s a lie. The only thing that we can show that’s real is geometry. This was their conclusion.
Claude was very influenced by the way these people thought of painting and decided to actuate it in the 50’s.
Rebecca Britain: How would you say that he pushes the boundaries of art?
Mark Lanctot: I think that he pushed it by calling a picture not a picture, calling a picture a painting, calling a picture an object. For centuries, we’ve been looking to pictures for stories; stories that are taken from the bible, stories of kings, stories of history and all the way up to even the impressionists. They told stories. They told stories of leisure. They told stories of city life.
Then, when you start to say ‘well I don’t want to tell the stories, I want to tell the story of the moment you’re living while you’re in front of the painting. I want you to tell me a story of here and now.’ that will be different story for each person that’ll go in front of it.
So he pushed boundaries by almost taking all content out of things and making it about the experience.