Robert Roussil

Canadian sculptor

Robert Roussil

Robert Roussil, sculptor, painter and Canadian writer, born in Montreal on August 18, 1925. The young Roussil lives a tumultuous adolescence, he leaves school at the age of 13 and begins a job as a worker in a foundry. It is thanks to this work that Robert Roussil develops a passion for molten metal. During the Second World War, he left Canada to fight in the Maisonneuve regiment. Upon his return to the country, he began studying at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal. The final project of Roussil created in 1949, entitled Family, representing, a woman, a man and a child naked is confiscated for indecency. Then, in 1951, see another work entitled La Paix vandalized in front of the gallery Agnes Lefort.

In 1947, Robert Roussil was the instigator of a group called La Place des Arts with other artists such as Paul-Emile Borduas and Jean-Paul Mousseau.

During the dark years of Quebec in the 50s, the sculptor disturbs and assumes his positions on the left. He participates in the World Congress of Peace in Austria and befriends several artists including Diego Rivera. The Quebec Conservative society of the time is shocked by the artist's words and achievements. In 1953, his workshop-meeting is padlocked because of subversive activities.

In this tumult, Robert Roussil left Quebec for France in 1956. That same year he completed his first public art commission for the city of Toronto. Under the guidance of the painter Marcelle Ferron, Roussil moved to Tourettes-sur-Loup in the region of Nice where he bought a mill in ruins which he transformed into a magnificent place of arts. François Tétreau would have liked this place to become a showcase for Quebec art in France, Tourettes-sur-Loup is located near Saint-Paul-de-Vence, city of Riopelle and near the Maeght Foundation.

His first major art gallery exhibitions began in 1962 and his museum exhibitions in 1965. Robert Roussil then took part in several international symposiums. Although the artist worked on bronze and cast iron, Roussil favored the matter of wood, he himself said "I never got out of the woods". Many urban works of art are visible in Quebec, including Cactus Modulaire, 1100 René-Lévesques West in Montreal, Migration, 1967 on Ile Sainte-Hélène.

Robert Roussil dies at his French residence in 2013.


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