Rediscover the engraver Albert Dumouchel

Rediscovering the engraver Albert Dumouchel 

Albert Dumouchel in his studio, La Serfouette, in Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu in 1970.

A little more than fifty years after the death of the father of modern engraving in Quebec, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal (MMFA) is devoting an exhibition to him entitled Revelations: Prints by Albert Dumouchel in the MMFA Collection

While Albert Dumouchel also painted, his contribution to visual art is primarily in engraving, says MMFA curator of modern art and curator of the exhibition, Anne Grace. Professor at the School of Graphic Arts in Montreal from 1942 to 1960 and at the School of Fine Arts in Montreal from 1956 to 1969, Albert Dumouchel trained the first three generations of modern engravers in Quebec, says Peggy Davis. , professor of art history at UQAM. 

According to Larousse, the print is a “image of an artistic nature, printed, most often on paper, by means of a matrix treated in relief (engraving on wood, on linoleum), intaglio (on metal: intaglio) or flat (lithography, screen printing )”. 

The last retrospective of his engraved work dating back to 1974 – it took place at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal – it was high time for a new exhibition to be devoted to this artist.  

I am not a revolutionary, I am an evolutionary.

Albert Dumouchel

The recent acquisition of 10 new works by Dumouchel by the MMFA contributed to the realization of the exhibition Révélations, which presents some thirty prints retracing the career of the artist, from his first attempts at engraving in the 1940s to his woodcuts made in the 1960s. 

Rediscovering the engraver Albert Dumouchel 

Anne Grace, Curator of Modern Art at the MMFA and curator of the exhibition, and the woodcut Anna’s Profile (1969). Photo: Jason Paré, Metro

“One of the particularities of his work is to offer us a pictorial summary of Quebec history, from the Great Darkness to the Quiet Revolution”, declared Anne Grace in a press release. 

From the first works to eroticism

Divided into different themes, the exhibition begins with the first works of the artist – Pietà (1942) and The Cathedral Above the Rooftops(1943), made while he was working as a fabric designer for Montreal Cotton, a textile factory in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield – and ends with prints illustrating erotic subjects, including some featuring Adam and Eve.   

Rediscover the engraver Albert Dumouchel 

Come! Enter Honorine, a woodcut engraving dated 1969. Photo: Jason Paré, Métro

The public will also be able to discover the late production of Dumouchel, with The Horrible Snow Cat (1969) and The Solitary Rider (1970), the latter work having been printed from posthumously in 1983. 

Rediscovering the engraver Albert Dumouchel 

The Horrible Snow Cat, a woodcut engraving dated 1969 and donated to the MMFA by Madeleine Morin. Photo: MMFA, Annie Fafard

Two other parts of the exhibition will be presented in 2023, one devoted to Dumouchel's matrices at the Center de design de l'UQAM and the other on archives and artefacts at the Center des livres rare and special collections of UQAM. 

The exhibition Revelations: the Prints of Albert Dumouchel in the MMFA's collection ends March 26, 2023. 

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