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Refus global: Revolution in the Arts

Refus global: Revolution in the Arts

The Story


On Aug. 9, 1948, a young group of artists and intellectuals gathered at a Montreal bookstore to launch an anti-religious and anti-establishment manifesto. 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.