The Studio as Art.
Histories of Artists’ Studios in Quebec

Curatorial : Laurier Lacroix

From February 11 2023 to May 14 2023

About —

The artist’s studio. The ultimate secret space, a mythical universe where the widest range of materials are transformed into works of art. Often defined by artists as a space of one’s own, a cave or a laboratory, the studio is a constantly evolving entity. Creation is linked to the imagination, the mind, and to thought, but it takes place in a physical environment.

Rarely accessible to others, the studio fulfills many art-related functions.

The studio is where an artist keeps the tools and materials needed for the production of artworks. Once complete, the works are stored there as well. The studio is a social space where artists invite models or guests: friends, colleagues, or art world professionals (art dealers, critics, curators). A space for research and relaxation, it also provides room for study and leisure, and can even be transformed into a gallery. Having a studio assistant creates opportunities for training and the transfer of knowledge. Artists also use their studio as an administrative space to manage their professional life.

Since the late 20th century, the studio has shifted somewhat with the advent of new artistic practices like conceptual art, land art, performance, installation, and digital or technology-based art. However, the principle components that have defined it for centuries remain the same.

The Studio as Art explores the history of the studio in Quebec as it has been invented and represented by artists. Several themes give shape to the exhibition: portrait and self-portrait in the studio, the studio as open space, the studio as subject, the functions of the studio, the studio as work of art. This exhibition invites us to explore the role of the studio in the artistic imagination. It demonstrates how the studio’s physical and emotional significance comes through in an artist’s work.


Biography —

Laurier Lacroix, C.M., is professor emeritus at Université du Québec à Montréal, where he taught art history and museum studies.

His productions include exhibitions devoted to Ozias Leduc (1978, 1996, 2017) and Suzor-Coté (1986, 2002) as well as on Painting in Montreal between 1915 and 1930 (1996), The Arts in New France (2012), and the Desjardins painting collection (2017). Lacroix is also interested in contemporary art and has curated exhibitions of the works of Irene F. Whittome (1989, 1998, 2004), Marc Garneau (2000), Pierre Dorion (2002), Guy Pellerin (2004), Robert Wolfe (2006), Micheline Beauchemin (2009), and Lisette Lemieux (2016, 2017).

The recipient of the Prix Carrière from the Société des musées québécois (1997) and Prix Gérard-Morisset (2008), Lacroix is a member of the Société des Dix (2005) and of the Académie des lettres du Québec (2012).


Artists —

Raymonde April, Jack Beder, Simone Mary Bouchard, Ève Cadieux, Ghitta Caiserman-Roth, Michel Campeau, Ulysse Comtois, Stanley Cosgrove, Jean Dallaire, Raphaëlle de Groot, Georges Delfosse, Jean-Baptiste Duberger, Rodolphe Duguay, Evergon, Elaine Fafard-Marconi, Joseph-Charles Franchère, John Fox, Pierre Gauvreau, Angela Grauerholz, Massimo Guerrera, Théophile Hamel, Adrien Hébert, Edwin Holgate, Charles Huot, Alfred Laliberté, Ozias Leduc, Serge Lemoyne, John Lyman, Henrietta Mabel May, Michael Merrill, Ernst Neumann, Studio Notman, Maurice Perron, Goodridge Roberts, Sylvia Safdie, Bruno Santerre, Robert Shore Milnes Bouchette, Gabor Szilasi, Sam Tata, Gentile Tondino, Serge Tousignant, Richard-Max Tremblay, Louis-Prudent Vallée and Irene F. Whittome.


The Musée d’art de Joliette wishes to sincerely thank the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, as well as the institutional lenders and private collectors who have made this exhibition possible through the generous loan of their works.

This exhibition is presented with the support of the Fondation du Musée d’art de Joliette.


Images in the banner:

Gabor Szilasi, Marion Wagschal dans l’atelier qu’elle partage avec Gunter Nolte, Montréal [Marion Wagschal in the studio she shares with Gunter Nolte, Montreal], 1972, Gelatin silver print, 28 x 35 cm. Collection of the Musée d’art de Joliette.

Ernest Neumann, Portrait of the Artist Nude, 1930, Oil on canvas, 81,5 x 64 cm, (Detail). Collection of the Musée d’art de Joliette.

Théophile Hamel, Autoportrait dans l’atelier [Self-Portrait in the Studio], vers 1849, Oil on canvas, 53,8 x 42 cm, (Detail). Collection of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, gift of Mrs. Gustave Hamel in 1930 or earlier, restoration by the Centre de conservation du Québec. Photo: MNBAQ, Jean-Guy Kérouac