Artwork by Jacques Hurtubise,  Rencontre

Jacques Hurtubise

mixed media on board
signed, titled and dated “63-64” lower right
26.25 x 20 ins ( 66.7 x 50.8 cms )

Auction Estimate: $20,000.00$18,000.00 - $20,000.00

Price Realized $18,880.00
Sale date: September 24th 2020

Waddington & Gorce, Toronto
Private Collection, Montreal
As early as 1957, at age seventeen, Jacques Hurtubise exhibited his work at the Salon du printemps in Montreal. He attended the École des beaux-arts de Montréal until 1960, when a grant enabled the young painter to spend nine months in New York. There, he became enamoured with the art of the Abstract Expressionists. Hurtubise was particularly drawn to the ‘Action Painting’ of De Kooning and Pollock, for their spontaneous and lively paint application. Hurtubise’s early energy-filled works, including “Rencontre”, reflect a combination of his personal experience and the forces of nature. Completed in 1963-64, the mixed media painting shows the emergence of the artist’s signature lightning bolt motif, executed in a spontaneous, gestural application inspired by the Automatistes and the Abstract Expressionists. Hurtubise divided his time between Montreal and New York for much of the 1960s, as he developed his unique style and experimented with hard-edge designs and repeated motifs combined with controlled “splashes” of pigment.

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Jacques Hurtubise
(1939 - 2014)

Born in Montreal, Quebec, he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts there under Albert Dumouchel, Jacques de Tonnancour and Jean Simard. In 1958 he won a prize at the Montreal Spring Exhibition, and in 1960 the Max Beckman scholarship to study in New York City. He held his first solo show at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1961 and subsequently held solo shows in Montreal, Toronto and New York City.

A non-objective painter his early abstract expressionistic paintings were noted by the Montreal Gazette in 1961 as follows, “Youthful experimentation and even bravado … brilliantly colourful and expansive.” Kay Kritzwiser during his joint exhibition with Marcel Barbeau in 1965 noted, “Hurtubise is more included to let his work read as landscape than as optical experiments. He uses colours in the same big areas but less impersonally. He places a soft mauve circle on black, with a thin white highlight, and the effect is somehow feminine. He makes rough black circles loom out of black background separated only by a tiny square of pale green.”

In 1965 he won first prize in the Province of Quebec competition and by 1966 he had attracted attention in New York City during his solo showing at the East Hapmton Gallery whose exhibition sheet carried the following note on his work, “His hard-edge paintings bear no resemblance to the well-known Canadians in this field, such as Barbeau, Molinari, or Tousignant. They are figure-ground, 2-colour abstractions. The jagged, all-over forms set up powerful vibrations that have an impact of shock.”

He is represented in the following collections: Quebec Provincial Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Vancouver Art Gallery, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and many others. He was a resident artist for Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA, 1967. He lived in Montreal.

Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume II”, compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1979