Claude Tousignant

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Claude Tousignant
Born (1932-10-23) October 23, 1932 (age 83)
Montreal, Quebec
Nationality Canadian
Education School of Art and Design at the MBAM
Known for Painting, Sculpture
Notable work "Chromatic accelerator" series
Movement Plasticiens, Tachism
Awards Officer of the Order of Canada

Claude Tousignant, OC is a Canadian artist born in Montreal, Quebec on December 23, 1932.[1] He is an important contributor to the development of geometric abstraction in Canada.[2]


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".[2] 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.[3]

Tousignant was born on December 23, 1932 in Montreal, Quebec. From 1948 to 1951, he attended the School of Art and Design at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts where he studied under Arthur Lismer, Louis Archambault, Marian Scott, Jacques de Tounnancour and Gordon Webber.[1][4] He then travelled to Paris where he studied at the Académie Ranson. returning to Montreal in the spring of 1952.[4]


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.


Museum collections[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Claude Tousignant". National Gallery of Canada. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Monochrome Crimson, 1981". National Gallery of Canada. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Reid, Dennis (1973). A Concise History of Canadian Painting. Toronto: Oxford University Press. p. 281. ISBN 0195402065. 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. 
  4. ^ a b "Claude Tousignant (1932- ) Chronologie" (in French). Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 

External links[edit]