Christian Marcel Barbeau

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Christian Marcel Barbeau

1925 - 2016
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One of the original members of the Automatists, Barbeau was a student of Paul- Émile Borduas and a classmate of Jean-Paul Riopelle, and was a signatory of the manifesto Refus Global in 1948. In 1956, after Riopelle and Borduas had left Canada, some of the members of the Automatists formed the group the Plasticiens and dedicated themselves to hard-edged geometric abstractions. Barbeau worked along these lines, although he was not a formal member of the group. An explorer who pushed the limits of each new idea in his art, Barbeau taught for two decades and is considered one of the great innovators in contemporary art in Canada. He received the Order of Canada in 1995.

Having exhibited first with the Automatists in 1946, Barbeau’s promise as an Abstract Expressionist was threatening, it seemed, to overtake his master Borduas. Borduas was no doubt aware of this, and his overly critical response to Barbeau’s mid-1940s works resulted in Barbeau destroying several dozen paintings. However, Barbeau continued to work, still pushing the ideas of abstraction, and by 1952 was having solo shows with Wittenborn and Shute Gallery in New York, as well as in galleries in Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec City. Barbeau worked in collage and calligraphic ink drawing and produced non-objective paintings. He visited San Francisco in 1957 and met the Abstract Expressionist painters of the Pacific School. He had a solo show at the Musée des beaux-arts as early as 1962, and was shown regularly at Galerie Denise Delrue in Montreal. In the mid-1960s he explored Op Art and film.

Barbeau lived in Paris from 1962 - 1964, reconnecting with fellow Automatist Fernand Leduc and showing at Galerie Iris Clert. He also exhibited in New York from 1964 - 1968 at the East Hampton Gallery, while still participating in shows in his Canadian galleries. His contact with New York was critical at this stage, and he is one of the key figures in the development of Abstract Expressionism in Canada.

Barbeau has been the subject of numerous retrospectives, beginning with the 1969 collaboration between the Winnipeg Art Gallery and Montreal’s Musée d’art contemporain. Always an innovator, Barbeau has worked in many media - from drawing and printmaking to photograph and performance - but he is best known for his painting and sculpture. He has created many large scale public works, and has been the subject of some 70 one-man shows and 200 group exhibitions. His awards are numerous and include the 1963 Zack Purchase Prize of the Royal Canadian Academy, and the Canada Council’s Lynch-Staunton Grant in 1973.

His work is widely collected and represented in many important public collections including the British Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, the National Gallery in Washington, DC and the Chrysler Art Gallery, as well as in Canada at the National Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Musée des beaux-arts and the Musée d’art contemporain in Montreal. Barbeau lives and continues to work in France.

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Heffel's Top Results

Record Christian Marcel Barbeau sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Christian Marcel Barbeau
Ouvri
30 x 40in 76.2 x 101.6cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $15,000 - $20,000 CDN
Sold for:   $86,250 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Fine Canadian Art Spring 2008 auction on Thursday, May 22, 2008



Record Christian Marcel Barbeau sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Christian Marcel Barbeau
Ombre d'ailes
24 1/2 x 31in 62.2 x 78.7cm
acrylic on canvas

Estimate:  $4,000 - $6,000 CDN
Sold for:   $11,800 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's September 2016 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, September 29, 2016



Record Christian Marcel Barbeau sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Christian Marcel Barbeau
Le vertige du réel
31 3/4 x 25 3/4in 80.6 x 65.4cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $4,000 - $6,000 CDN
Sold for:   $10,625 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's March 2017 - 2nd Session auction on Thursday, March 30, 2017



Record Christian Marcel Barbeau sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Christian Marcel Barbeau
Jardin du réveil oublié
32 x 40in 81.3 x 101.6cm
acrylic on canvas

Estimate:  $4,000 - $6,000 CDN
Sold for:   $9,945 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's June 2013 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, June 27, 2013



Record Christian Marcel Barbeau sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Christian Marcel Barbeau
Abstract
20 x 30in 50.8 x 76.2cm
oil on card on board

Estimate:  $4,000 - $6,000 CDN
Sold for:   $7,080 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's March 2016 - 3rd session auction on Thursday, March 31, 2016



Record Christian Marcel Barbeau sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Christian Marcel Barbeau
Vert galant
20 x 24in 50.8 x 61cm
acrylic on canvas

Estimate:  $4,000 - $6,000 CDN
Sold for:   $7,020 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's May 2010 - 2nd Session auction on Saturday, May 29, 2010



Record Christian Marcel Barbeau sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Christian Marcel Barbeau
Printemps
32 x 26in 81.3 x 66cm
acrylic on canvas

Estimate:  $3,000 - $5,000 CDN
Sold for:   $6,435 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's March 2013 - 3rd Session auction on Thursday, March 28, 2013



Record Christian Marcel Barbeau sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Christian Marcel Barbeau
KA Frise D'arnaquest
21 3/4 x 17 1/8in 55.2 x 43.5cm
ink on paper

Estimate:  $3,000 - $5,000 CDN
Sold for:   $5,605 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's November 2015 - 5th Session auction on Saturday, November 28, 2015



Record Christian Marcel Barbeau sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Christian Marcel Barbeau
La retraite sentimentale
24 x 20in 61 x 50.8cm
acrylic on canvas

Estimate:  $3,000 - $4,000 CDN
Sold for:   $5,558 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's January 2010 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, January 28, 2010



Record Christian Marcel Barbeau sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Christian Marcel Barbeau
L'éveil au désir
18 x 21 1/2in 45.7 x 54.6cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $3,000 - $4,000 CDN
Sold for:   $4,720 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's September 2016 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, September 29, 2016


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