AANFM AUTO CAS QMG RCA SAAVQ SAPQ
1925 - 2016
Sans titre (from the Combustions originelles series)
ink on paper
signed and dated 1952 and on verso signed twice and dated
5 3/4 x 10 in, 14.6 x 25.4 cm
Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500 CAD
Sold for: $1,625
Private Collection, Vancouver
Marcel Barbeau’s series Combustions originelles is a dazzling manifestation of his radical and expressive approach to abstraction. Painted from 1949 to 1953, and comprised of approximately 350 ink on paper or card works, the series’ remarkable range and quality of gestures is emblematic of the experimental nature of Barbeau’s art. This series combines traditional techniques such as ink wash painting, and methods used by Abstract Expressionist painters such as dripping. Across a large paper or card surface, Barbeau would lay down a multitude of diaphanous veils of richly coloured inks. He would then cut small sections out of these works, selecting details from the larger compositions, and this new technique offered a newfound creative freedom. The poet Claude Gauvreau described the gestural quality of Combustions originelles as both forceful and delicate, which was characteristic of Barbeau’s compelling personality. His energy is palpable throughout this series, which bears witness to a thrilling period in the artist’s career. Widely regarded as one of the prominent figures of the Automatist movement, Barbeau worked in a variety of mediums such as drawing, painting, collage, sculpture and performance. He was one of the signatories of the 1948 Refus Global manifesto.
The work is signed and dated 1952, which is inscribed over a faint signature and date of 1951.
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