barbeau

Marcel Barbeau: Floating Worlds

barbeau

Marcel Barbeau: Floating Worlds

Andre Seleanu

Marcel Barbeau is the grand old man of Quebec art and in top creative form at 88. The multiplicity of his work is astounding as he engages painting, sculpture, printmaking and collage.

Earlier this year, his Canada-wide reputation was reaffirmed when Barbeau was named a recipient of a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. In parallel timing, Montreal’s Galerie d’art Michel-Ange presented a retrospective of Barbeau’s work that emphasized his recent production.

Barbeau moves back and forth between gestural exploration and his own version of geometric abstraction. He presents an eloquent vocabulary of angular shapes that succeed in “floating” in a peculiar way in pictorial space, conjuring a subtle atmosphere of psychological elation. In Saisons (2004) and Souvrire étoilé (2002), for example, forms that suggest plane geometry, yet are characteristically curved, seem to poetically take off into space. The artist speaks of his recurrent “cosmic vision.” His expression spans from geometric paintings to Tachiste works. Barbeau’s work in metal sculpture, exemplified in this show by the aluminum pieces Portique 2 (2010) and L’Échelle des ombres fugitives (2010), demonstrates both a playfulness in space and an authoratative offhand ease in dominating it.

Read the article : www.canadianart.ca