Claude Tousignant is one of those very few artists whose lives have been dedicated exclusively to their art. At school, the only classes that interested him were drawing and geometry. In 1948, he entered the School of Art and Design at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Of all his teachers, Gordon Webber (himself a former student of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy) was the most influential in guiding his career, as he introduced him to avant-garde art and modern art theories, particularly those of the Bauhaus. Tousignant’s work has been the object of many solo exhibitions throughout his career, and he has participated in numerous group shows in Canada and abroad. These began with his first solo exhibition, at the café L’Échourie, in 1955, followed by another at the Galerie l’Actuelle in 1956 and The Responsive Eye at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1965. That same year, he represented Canada at the 8th Bienal de São Paulo. In the following years, the retrospective Claude Tousignant opened at the National Gallery of Canada in 1973, before travelling to several other venues, including the Musée d’art contemporain in Montreal, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto and the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris; Claude Tousignant: Sculptures was held at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1982; and Claude Tousignant : monochromes, 1978-1993 was presented at the Musée du Québec in 1994. The Musée d’art contemporain devoted an exhibition to him, titled Dyptiques 1978-1980, in 1980, as well as organizing an exhaustive retrospective of his work in 2009. Tousignant is represented in all of Canada’s major museums, and his works are included in numerous corporate and private collections. Over the course of his career, Claude Tousignant has won the prestigious Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award (presented by the Canada Council for the Arts for outstanding achievement by mid-career artists), in 1974, and the Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas (the highest visual arts distinction awarded by the Quebec government), in 1989. He was also appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1976 and in 2010 was a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.
b. 1932, Montreal, QC.