Encouraged by the tremendous success of the event-exposure Meublémouvants presented at the Centre MATERIA in fall 2009, the organizers decided to continue the adventure by providing a digital publication, a first for the fine craft artist run center of Quebec! To stimulate the appreciation of Quebec’s furniture designers, the digital catalog MEUBLÉMOUVANTS: La Suite… et Non la Fin! offers a state of affairs regarding the creation of furniture here. It includes interviews with designers, teachers and stakeholders, as well as relevant links, one leading to an unprecedented series of video interviews on the subject.
Good reading and good viewing!
Voir la publication numérique EN
||Le jeu du collectionneur (Gilbert Poissant)
Catalogue portant sur l'exposition Le jeu du collectionneur, présentée du 10 septembre au 31 octobre 2010.
Production Éditions Varia, 2010. Français/Anglais.
ISBN 978-2-9807426-6-8 (MATERIA)
ISBN 978-289606-057-3 (Éditions Varia)
From Use to Contemplation
From the outset, the intentions behind MATERIA’s creation were to give Quebec a venue for contemporary fine craft, to promote the development of discourse around craft practices, and to contribute to the recognition of fine craft artists.
MATERIA today is a unique venue for distribution, interpretation and reflection around the works of contemporary fine craft, a fascinating and multi-faceted mirror offered to art lovers. The high calibre of the exhibitions, based on the quality of curators’ and artists’ proposals, is a testament to the value and importance of the contributions creative craft artists have made to the cultural life and development of our society. As such, inviting Gilbert Poissant to open our 10th anniversary program demonstrates MATERIA’s commitment to pursuing its mission.
For over thirty years, Poissant has been developing a practice anchored in the medium. His artistic process, always expressed with extraordinary consistency and exactness, is as vital in his objects, sculptures, and installations, as in the creation of architecturally integrated murals.
Marked by experimentation and research, his professional career has gained him extensive knowledge of materials and a rare mastery of technique, far exceeding the scope of ceramics. His art practice, thoroughly anchored in reality, offers us a very personal perspective on the world. Le jeu du collectionneur is a fine illustration of this.
His attentiveness to each of the objects is palpable. The artist takes us on a heady mix of assemblages, associations, and delicate balances. Relations of scale jostle one another, from the found object to ornaments, from architecture to cityscapes. There comes a time when the object that penetrates us through the senses eventually develops into a presence laden with memories. All Poissant’s work is part of this slow transition between the dazzling and masterful gesture and the timeless moment of emotion.
Director, Educational Activities and Access to Culture
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
Prix : 20$
||Goyer Bonneau ou les Vases communicants
Production Éditions Nota bene, 2009. French/English.
ISBN 2-9807426-5-1 (MATERIA)
ISBN 978-2-89518-306-8 (Éditions Nota Bene)
Like industrial design, ceramics is located at the intersection of art and craft. Each is naturally indispensable to the other as the creative activity advances along its path. These two inseparable elements unite in the difficult struggle for originality and in search of beauty; a rude combat between tradition and modernity.
For more than thirty years I have observed and appreciated the quality and diversity of Goyer Bonneau's work. I see in it, first of all, complete continuity of aesthetic expression and no less a degree of coherence in their geometric, volumetric and formal explorations.
Is the role of the artist not to surprise us? Denise Goyer and Alain Bonneau have positively succeeded in captivating us and in creating sustained interest in their work.
I am reminded of an idea of one of my mentors, Aldo Rossi, who insisted upon the object's silence, wherein its presence asserts itself as a criterion of beauty. Indeed we look at objects much more than we use them, even though the tactile pleasure they afford accompanies our visual pleasure and heightens it. Textures, proportions, colours, unusual forms: these are the qualities we appreciate in Goyer Bonneau's pieces, whether they are functional or purely decorative. To my mind, these two ceramic designers embody the idea of unity in an out-of-the-ordinary, startling and rare symbiosis which consolidates and unifies the boldness and originality of their shared explorations.
As is the case with all great artists, we readily recognise the work of this talented duo, which has become a well-known ambassador of the high quality of Quebec's handcrafted art objects throughout the country and around the world.
Michel Dallaire, CM, OQ, RCA, Doctor (honorary)
Prix : 20$
The exhibition Culture Objects: From New-France to Today is the fruit of a harmonious collaboration between Centre MATERIA, the Borough of Ste-Foy/Sillery, the Musée de la Civilisation in Quebec City and Parks Canada. This innovative project, featuring contemporary handcrafted objects exhibited alongside ethnological and anthropological artefacts, was an original idea of the curator Sylvie Royer. Through this exhibition MATERIA, the only artist-run centre devoted to handcrafted works in Quebec, would like to pay tribute to the artists and artisans of yesterday and today. By exhibiting together objects which bear our cultural identity and contemporary handcrafted works in the context of the celebrations around the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, we hope to draw attention to the presence of these practices in Quebec since their beginnings.
The crowning of an event like this can only be the result of a tremendous collaboration. I would like, first of all, to salute the colossal efforts of curator Sylvie Royer, who carried the project out with a sure hand. An indefectible lover of handcrafted objects, she was able to convey her passion for this project and display to their advantage objects from our past and present cultural heritage. I would also like to acknowledge the invaluable participation of the following partners, without whom this exhibition would never have been possible: at the Borough of Ste-Foy/Sillery, Éric Dumas, in charge of heritage materials, and Isabel Gagnon, cultural activities technician; at the Musée de la civilisation, Andrée Gendreau, director of the department of collections, research and evaluation, Sylvie Bergeron, collections registrar, and Sonia Mimeault, curator; and at Parks Canada, Diane Lebrun, collections manager. My warm thanks to them all for their confidence in the project and their faithful participation from beginning to end of this “historic” adventure. Finally, this exhibition catalogue would not have been possible without the daily efforts of MATERIA’s staff: Danièle Lessard, the exhibition’s designer, Caroline Chabot, project co-ordinator and Nathalie Racicot, graphic designer.
Prix : 15$
||Threads of Time (Marcel Marois)
A JOURNEY INTO MARCEL MAROIS’ ENVIRONMENT AND ITS LONG DURATION
I am very pleased to be associated today with this MATERIA exhibition by tapestry artist Marcel Marois, as the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is proud to own seven works by the artist in its collection, including "Comme un souffle dans l’onde confuse", a true masterpiece that has kept travelling all over the world since its acquisition in 1995.
I have great respect and I am filled with admiration for Marcel Marois, whose achievements have brought him important recognition at home and abroad. His allegorical art is inspired by truly contemporary concerns, aptly transformed through the filter of a traditional technique mastered to perfection. The stakes of his questioning and his engagement towards the environnement stem from an exceptional artistic sensibility.
Hour after hour, day after day, month after month, and year after year, the artist has managed to weave a visual world that is as demanding for us than for him, a world that invites us to keep a watchful eye on our fragile environment, observing it at lenght and fully enjoying the beauty around us. Each of his works is in some way an apotheosis of the instant, the subtle outcome of infinite patience. All in all, his practice proves to be an artistic plea for the long duration, beyond the illusions of transience.
Water, land, sky, humans and animals are the sources of inspiration for this art which is governed by atmosphere, rather than by narrative, and by meditation, rather than by swift gestures. In the end, Marcel Marois’ delicate arrangements of threads into complex and unpredictable wefts resemble our collective destinies, produced by joining thousands of personal itineraries with changing textures and colours.
John R. Porter, CQ, MSRC
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
Prix : 15$
||Maurice Savoie : An Alchemical Path
This exhibition is not a retrospective. It is a survey. An affirmation of the ongoing pertinence of Maurice Savoie’s production by way of a panoramic reading that sheds light on a journey begun decades ago. The focus here is on the artist’s recent work. On the creative fancy that continues to drive him, on the disconcertion that his audacity continues to provoke.
Surprisingly, despite unanimous recognition of his contribution to the development of ceramics and crafts in Quebec, no monograph has yet been devoted to Maurice Savoie. (This absence of monographic studies extends to many artists and seriously hampers the dissemination of contemporary Quebec art.) On the other hand, he has been showered with awards and honours over the years. In 1994, he was made a member of the Order of Canada and of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. More recently, in 2000, he earned a Mention at the 10th Grand prix des métiers d’art du Québec. His work is found in numerous private collections and in major public collections, including those of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery of Canada, and the Jean A.Chalmers Collection of Contemporary Canadian Crafts. As well, is has been shown in over a hundred group and solo exhibitions in Canada and abroad. The intent of this publication, therefore, is to offset the lack of written substantiation, to assert the importance of a foremost creator and the merits of his approach.
On another level, having a contemporary art critic deal with one of the least recognized media of present-day art in Quebec adds a novel slant. This attempt to break with routine options, to recall too-soon-forgotten affiliations has proven highly challenging, but equally stimulating. For in the regrettably isolated field of ceramic art in Quebec, critical discourse and exhibition curatorship are still in their infancy. Which leads to the inescapable dichotomy between visual arts and crafts, a persistent though generally sterile dichotomy that Materia has chosen to confront head-on. In this regard, I want to acknowledge the crucial input of Sylvie Royer, director of the gallery, without whom this project would still be on the drawing board. She has imposed a clear vision, which is rare. I also want to salute the intelligence that she brings to her work as gallery director, of necessity allying art and cultural management. My thanks go as well to the entire Materia team, for their professionalism, their attention and the climate of trust that has underlain this project from the outset.
Lastly, I want to express my profound gratitude to Maurice Savoie. To thank him for his passion, which continues to touch me; and for being a living encyclopaedia and allowing me access. I am also grateful to Suzanne Savoie, the key witness to a life’s adventure, for assistance in recollecting facts, for priceless conversations and discussions, and much more.
Prix : 20$
||Abstrations très singulières
Presenting Léopold L. Foulem’s exhibition Abstractions très singulières in our gallery is of special significance to us. This recent body of works illustrates masterfully the connection between today’s fine craft and contemporary art practices.
Foulem received, in 1999, the Jean A. Chalmers National Crafts Award, and in 2001, the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in the Crafts. He has been for the last thirty years a major ceramic artist in our country. His oeuvre, through its mastery of craftsmanship and the thoroughness of its conceptual agenda, transcends the limits of the field. In his case, history has become the very basis for a reflection on our relationship with material objects. Ceramics, although transformed and disguised, is at the heart of the issues tackled. The commitment and steadfastness with which Foulem braves the unexplored frontiers of ceramics, raising questions about the art of the container and pushing back its boundaries, leads us to view his work as a sensitive and sublime point of reference.
With the publication of this catalogue, the Centre Materia is pleased to celebrate the extraordinary contribution of Léopold L.Foulem to the world of ceramics.
Director from 2001 to 2006
Maison des métiers d’art de Québec