The sacred fire of Jean Gaudreau

Le feu sacré de Jean Gaudreau

To celebrate her 40-year career, the artist John Gaudreau has put all the gum in order to offer a work of high quality. The book was launched on Tuesday evening at the Diamond, in the presence of mayor Régis Labeaume.

November 12, 2019

Updated on November 13, 2019 at 9h23


The sacred fire of Jean Gaudreau

Le feu sacré de Jean Gaudreau

Normand Provencher

The Sun


From a young age, John Gaudreau knew that the painting was going to be the motor of his existence. Her mother adored, she-the same artist who at times, has always pushed themselves beyond their limits, to push his limits. Claudia Tremblay has not only given life, but it has also put the world as an artist. His sweet memory lives in the large book that multi-disciplinary artist from Quebec, has just published a career that is short on four decades.

“I gave my first strokes at the age of 10 years. See my mother paint before the afternoon time gave me the taste to do the same. It was she who gave me the sacred fire”, he says. In his workshop on boulevard Henri-Bourassa, he kept a canvas born of his imagination, John and his dog, where the child was in 1974 appears from the back, near the hospital of the Child Jesus.

John Gaudreau — The child wise art rebel, designed in collaboration with Alexandre Motulsky-Falardeau and the colleague of the Sun Josianne Desloges, paints a panorama of a life dedicated to the visual arts. A beautiful book illustrated with photos of 400 works of art that the artist, one of the leading figures of contemporary art from quebec, has wanted the most “beautiful” possible. “I wanted it to be a work of a pro, otherwise I would not have survived.”

Speaking to the first person in the opening, John Gaudreau is back on the milestones of his life, from his visits this summer to The Isle-aux-Coudres, to sell paintings to the tourists, until his participation in the Moulin à images, Robert Lepage, where he saw some of his works projected on the grain silos of the Old Port.

Long-term job

“It’s in Isle-aux-Coudres that I met Jean-Paul Lemieux for the first time. I think I was 15 or 16 years old. I was impressed since it was exhibited in museums. It was a kind of model for me. I am much inspired by him. But not as much as Jean-Paul Riopelle that I discovered during my university studies [University of Laval]. It was more abstract, more modern than Lemieux, which had a dimension which is more traditional in its approach.”

Many of the paintings of Jean Gaudreau adorn the walls of several residences of patrons, and of wealthy collectors across the country and beyond the borders. “There are those whose I’ve lost track, which can be found somewhere in private collections. Other than that I have no idea where they are. Fortunately, I had taken care to take pictures.”

To complete his book project, the artist has plunged into its crates full of photos and slides. “The digital did not exist, of course, but we were able to make wise choices. The pictures had good resolution. I owe a debt of gratitude to my publisher Sylvain Harvey. Had it not been for him, the book would never come out. I was involved in all my photos. I had class, but it was painful enough. It took me a good coach.”

Finally live of his art

John Gaudreau is said to be filled to be able to live of his art for the past fifteen years. A luxury that he cherishes all the more as it was still fresh in the memory of his lean years. “I’ve been in survival mode for the first 20 years of my career. It was not easy. My stay in Montreal has been very difficult. I had trouble making ends meet.”

For the rest of the things, the painter of 55 years and wishes to continue to explore new territories of creation. Away from him the idea of being confined in a single style. “What matters is to always go further.” What he wants to do for a long time, in his studio in Charlesbourg or to his cottage, near the Montmorency river in Beauport sector.

And when the snow falls in large flakes, as it was the case Tuesday, a simple look through its large glass walls provides him with additional inspiration. “There’s nothing to beat it.”

John Gaudreau — The child wise art rebel 1979-2019. Alexandre Motulsky-Falardeau and Josianne Desloges. Editions Sylvain Harvey. 472 pages.

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