Automatists art movement suffers backlash
On Aug. 9, 1948, a handsome young group of artists and intellectuals gathered at a Montreal bookstore to launch an anti-religious and anti-establishment manifesto. Le Refus global (Total Refusal) was signed by 16 artists including such giants as Jean-Paul Riopelle and Paul-Emile Borduas. It would become one of the most important and controversial artistic and social documents in modern Quebec society.
Jean Paul Mousseau, who was only 20 when he signed the manifesto, remembers the police frequently harassing them.
The Automatists soon go their separate ways, enjoying varying degrees of success. Painter Jean-Paul Riopelle moves to Paris and becomes one of the most important modern painters. Marcelle Ferron, on the other hand, has her children taken away. Her signature on the manifesto is seen as evidence of her being an unfit mother.
Program: Stereo Morning
Broadcast Date: Jan. 26, 1982
Guest(s): Marcel Barbeau, Marcelle Ferron
Host: Terry Campbell
Last updated: January 13, 2012
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
All Clips from this Topic
Artists who sign le Refus global manifesto also come under attack.
Paul-Emile Borduas pays a heavy price for his views.
The Automatists spearhead an exciting and uniquely Canadian art moveme...
Le Refus global is hailed as the founding document of modern Quebec so...
Quebec society is under the repressive thumb of the Catholic Church an...
Fellow signatories of le Refus global refuse to attend his funeral bec...
On Aug. 9, 1948, a handsome young group of artists and intellectuals g...
Le Refus global (Total Refusal), one of the most influential artistic ...