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Who were Les Plasticiens?

cible.jpgNow until May 12, 2013 the Museum of Fine Arts in Quebec City is showing an exhibtion of work by the Plasticiens.

(Click here for a more lavishly-illustrated French version of the page describing the exhibition.)

The Plasticiens were a group of artists in Quebec who first showed their work in 1955.

You may be familiar with the colourful concentric circles of Claude Tousignant, (pictured to the left, Accélérateur chromatique.) or the bold swaths of colour in paintings by Guido Molinari.

The story leading up to the Plasticiens can be traced back to the Refus global, a manifesto published in 1948 demanding artistic and religious freedom.

That manifesto gave rise to a group of artists who were inspired by the surrealists to create in a spontaneous fashion. In Quebec, the group was known as the Automatistes, under Borduas. Riopelle was one of the leading figures.

The Plasticiens followed the Automatistes, and by contrast, they focused on geometry, precise line drawing and targets of colour.  

Listen to Jeanette's interview with curator Roald Nasgard to learn more about Les Plasticiens.  

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Image: Courtesy Musée National des Beaux Arts du Quebec. Claude Tousignant, Accélérateur chromatique, 1968 Acrylique sur toile, 243,84 cm Prêt de l'artiste.