Tension at work with Jacques Hurtubise

Tensions à l’œuvre chez Jacques Hurtubise

Photo: Guy L’heureux
View of the exhibition “Jacques Hurtubise: 1963-1972, a decade high in colours” at galerie Simon Blais

The mid-1960s was a great time for the painting of Jacques Hurtubise (1939-2014). At the galerie Simon Blais, Catherine Leonard was attended by approximately eight large acrylic on canvas and several works on paper from the estate of the artist, works that were all made between 1963 and 1972, but it is without a doubt the seven tables created in 1965 and 1966 that fascinate the most.

These are works of great originality and a high intensity visual. The colors seem to vibrate, to radiate, to dazzle, to blind the eyes of the visitor. These tables seem to be almost we burn the retina. The paint here is electric, under-voltage and short-circuit explosive…

Like his colleagues, Guido Molinari and Claude Tousignant — who were a little older than him, Hurtubise could be the exhibition The Responsive Eye at the MoMA in New York in 1965, expo become legendary because it gave its letters of nobility to the movement of op art, However, his work does not appear to be summarized by this optical art that tried to create an illusion of movement by the play of shapes and colors. At this time, the works of Hurtubise seem at the time to have a walk in a tachism accidental and expressive at the Borduas and the other in a form of geometric abstraction to the Mondrian. Hurtubise said he wanted to associate the drippings, splashins and pourings in the Pollock, gestural painting, to the creation of hard egde to the Molinari ? The painter didn’t he also coined the phrase “hard-edge splashy ” to describe his work ?

Tensions à l’œuvre chez Jacques Hurtubise

Photo: Guy L’heureux
Jacques Hurtubise, “Olympus”, 1965

However, it was of no school and at this time, he seems to want to confront these artistic trends to modern not to reconcile — such as Pellan wanted to do a little more than a generation earlier with the fauvism, the cubism and the surrealism, but rather to put them in tension. The “splashings ” in Hurtubise even have like a graffiti protest on the impeccable surface of abstract geometric art. In the 1960s, these splashes of paint almost like a contamination anachronistic of abstract art in post-Borduas, abstract art artists that were Molinari and Tousignant. Thus, Hurtubise would disrupt a story in the modernist and progressive art, a history of the paint going towards a streamlined shape, and even of subjectivity.

In this, Catherine Leonard qualifies because of ” false splashs “, Hurtubise carries out a quote form of the icon that has become abstract art, quote almost worthy of the method of pop art, Even abstract geometric art looks at home in a pattern borrowed and repeated. The abstract painting is present for Hurtubise as a kind of formal repertoire that it should be appropriated. At the time, the famous theoretician of the art Fernande Saint-Martin combined his practice with that of pop art — rather than to the abstraction, or op art As in pop artists, Hurtubise brings to the scene an effect of repetition or sequence fragmented. These paintings seem to be drawn from a larger structure. Some of the works of this period are reminiscent of a fragment of film of films.

It should also be noted how, at that time, Hurtubise gave to his abstract paintings of the names of women. Names of heroines famous or derived from the mythology, but who rub women more humble : Lucretius (1965), and Orpheus (1965) have been found to interact Émérentienne (1967), Doris (1966), Philiberte (1966), Philomena (1966) and Fanette (1965)… Here, in the galerie Simon Blais, are met Clara, Brigitte, Paméla, Olympus, Danielle, Helena, Cydippe and Orietta. The visitor may even think that it is psychological portraits of these women, the representation of the energy emanating from their personality. These securities then produce additional tension, this time between an abstract art purely pictorial and an art of narration, form little modern creation… Hurtubise was in the process of becoming an artist post-modern.

Jacques Hurtubise : 1963-1972, a decade high in colors

At the galerie Simon Blais until 30 June

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