Marcelle Ferron R.C.A.

Sans Titre, 1960

oil on canvas
8.75x10.5 in.
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signed lower left: F
signed to verso on stretcher and frame

Provenance

Galerie Libre, Montreal;
Private collection, Toronto;
Canadian Art Group, Toronto;
Private collection
Provenance
Galerie Libre, Montreal;
Private collection, Toronto;
Canadian Art Group, Toronto;
Private collection, Calgary

An original signatory to the 1948 Refus Global Manifesto, Marcelle Ferron’s work is unique in its interest in, and concern for light. “Ferron’s singularity is glaring… Her unique vehicle was light, and … it was ever present.”1 Dissatisfied with Quebec and the difficulties created by her outspokenness, she sailed to France in 1953, where she set up a studio and began to paint. She found the French art community interested in her work immediately, which lead to exhibition is Paris in throughout Europe. Notably, she also worked in in stained glass and had access to brilliant examples of this medium in the architecture of France. Her love of brilliant colour and the light effects she observed would heavily influence her work. Sans Titre comes from this rich and productive Paris period, which lasted until 1966, and during which she explored the luminosity of paint, the possibilities of white, and the sensuality of these two elements in her work. Ferron used not only the knife, but a large squeegee as well, which allowed her to move paint about on the surface of her works in large patches. This work, although small and intimate, links with her large format Paris works, wherein the squeegee was used. Passages of paint wherein trapped air bubbles are smoothed out and thus popped, leaving evidence of their having been expunged, give the work an organic quality, bringing gemstones and rock faces to mind. Her use of poppy seed oil in her paints, which she prepared herself, is a critical factor in their luminosity.

Marcelle Ferron, artist (b at Louiseville, Qué 29 Jan 1924; d at Montréal 18 Nov 2001). Sister of Jacques Ferron, she was an active participant in Les Automatistes, led by Paul-Émile Borduas, and has pursued an innovative artistic career, where her work in stained glass is noteworthy. After studying at…