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Jacques Hurtubise

Jacques Hurtubise

Showcasing the major career highlights and some of the most recent work of abstract painter Jacques Hurtubise, this lavishly illustrated bilingual volume captures the key works of Hurtubise's formidable fifty-plus year career, many of which have never been brought together in a major exhibition or publication.

This exceptional collection offers new insight into the development of Hurtubise's paintings — from the early graphic abstract paintings in the 1960s and 1970s to the mask to the brushy and stencil work of his blackout paintings. His latest map-based work, which brings together the passion of his "sun" series and the exotic and hypnotic lines of his "masks" and "splash" paintings, brings his mastery of the medium to the fore.

An abstract painter who followed a generation of plasticiens, Hurtubise's bright, geometric patterning have often prompted comparisons to peers Claude Tousignant, Guido Moinari, and Yves Gaucher. His unique sensitivity as a printmaker, his masterful brushwork, and repeated imagery sets his work apart as uniquely his own. Hurtubise operates in the territory established between 1950s abstract expressionism and the lineage of grand-format American 1960s hard-edged painting; his current work circles back to enclose his beginnings: a hybrid and synthesis that confirms Hurtubise as the inheritor of the mantle of Montreal modernism.

Designed to accompany a major national touring exhibition that opened at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in May 2011 and will open at the Musée d'art de Joliette in May 2012, this book includes five major, groundbreaking essays on his work. Québec curator Bernard Lamarche examines the roots of Hurtubise's paintings as a result of a struggle for dominance. Artist, writer, and critic Jeffrey Spalding examines the influence of the New York school on Hurtubise, addressing the evolution of abstraction in Québec, Canada, and the United States. Art critic René Viau places Hurtubise's work within the complex history of Quebec modernism and its major practitioners. Sarah Fillmore, the editor of the book and curator of the exhibition that accompanies this major publication, will examine Hurtubise's newest works, placing the artist in the contemporary context of painting in Canada. And rounding out the book is an essay by art historian Nathalie Miglioni, whose introduction to the book deals with Hurtubise's residency in Nova Scotia, his relationship with Nova Scotia, and the influence of Cape Breton on his work.

Cette monographie abondamment illustrée présente les principaux jalons de plus de cinquante ans de carrière de l'artiste Jacques Hurtubise. On y recense sa production actuelle ainsi que ses œuvres phares, dont un grand nombre n'avaient jamais été réunies auparavant.

La compilation exceptionnelle permet de mieux comprendre l'évolution d'Hurtubise, depuis ses premiers travaux graphiques des années 1960 et 1970 jusqu'à ses masques, ses tableaux aux traits ardents et le recours au stencil dans sa série Blackout. Ses œuvres plus récentes réalisées à partir de cartes routières — qui allient la passion qui habite ses « soleils » et les lignes exotiques et hypnotiques de ses « masques » et de ses « éclaboussures » — témoignent de sa pleine maîtrise des techniques les plus variées.

Les formes géométriques abstraites aux couleurs vives de cet artiste qui a succédé à la génération des plasticiens ont souvent suscité des comparaisons avec Claude Tousignant, Guido Molinari et Yves Gaucher. Toutefois, la sensibilité particulièrement manifeste d'Hurtubise dans ses gravures, sa technique maîtrisée de la peinture et la répétition des motifs le distinguent de ses contemporains.

Conçu pour accompagner une rétrospective organisée par le Musée des beaux-arts de la Nouvelle-Écosse et présentée en tournée nationale, l'ouvrage Jacques Hurtubise propose des textes des conservateurs d'exposition Sarah Fillmore et Bernard Lamarche, des auteurs et critiques Jeffrey Spalding et René Viau, et de l'historienne de l'art Nathalie Miglioni. Sarah Fillmore est conservatrice en chef du Musée des beaux-arts de la Nouvelle-Écosse.


Sarah Fillmore is the chief curator at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and curator of the annual Sobey Art Award.

208 pages
Pub date: January 13, 2012