Claude Tousignant is a Canadian abstract painter and sculptor who lives and works in Montreal. He is considered a member of the second generation of the modern art movement in Montreal called "les Plasticiens". This group of four painters (Jean-Paul Jérôme, Louis Belzile, Rodolphe de Repentigny and Fernand Toupin) felt painting should be pure form and colour. Meaning and spontaneous expression were to be avoided.
Claude Tousignant, Modulateur de lumière, 2005, installation at Art Mûr
Geometric shapes and solid colors make up most of Tousignant's work (see samples in the gallery below). He refused to incorporate shapes that could be identified as representational in his work. He pushed the boundaries to simplify the expression itself in the act of painting, incorporating huge circles, square angles, vivid colors in his pieces. During the 1960s, his most popular series came alive with dozens of variations on colorful themes: "Chromatic transformers", "Chromatic accelerators" and "Gongs". But it is during the following decade that he audaciously came full circle on his vision, presenting monotone pieces, the simplest of art forms.
^Reid, Dennis (1973). A Concise History of Canadian Painting. Toronto: Oxford University Press. p. 281. ISBN0195402065. "Diametrically opposed to the spontaneous expression of the unconcious—replete with assocuative meaning—as was earlier sought by the Automatistes, the Plasticiens hoped to achieve a precise uncomplicated response to the painted object."