Francine Simonin

Artiste canadienne-suisse, illustrator, engraver and painter

Francine Simonin

Francine Simonin, born on October 2, 1936 in Lausanne, Switzerland, represents a generation of expressionists (painters, draughtsmen and engravers) both in her native country and in Montreal. from the beginning, nourished by his regular travels throughout Europe but also by his various encounters with the most influential artists of his time.

She began her apprenticeship at the Ecole cantonale des Beaux-art in Lausanne from 1953 when she chose to study painting and drawing. It will develop with the painting Marcel Poncet but also with the sculptor Casimir Reymond (whose workshop she regularly attends for the next 2 years.)

Casimir Reymond’s studio will be a prolific medium for her inspiration since it is there that she meets artists and poets like Lelo Fiaux, Violette Diserens, Jean-Pierre Kaiser or Anne-Marie Jaccottet. The most important meeting, however, will be that of Marguerite Duras, whom she met in the early 1960s and with whom she formed a sincere friendship until the 1980s.

She continues to expand her circle of inspiration by befriending the printer Raymond Meyer with whom she maintains an important collaboration that will follow her for several years. All these meetings will sharpen his artistic sensibility and fertilize his creative process.

In 1964, Francine Simonin received her first scholarship, the Federal Painting Scholarship, followed by her first exhibition at the Bridel Gallery, a year later. She also received the Alice Bailly Scholarship in 1966, which allowed her to receive her first springboard for Canada: the Canada Council for the Arts scholarship in 1968.

From the 1970s, Francine Simonin moved to Montreal and became an icon of Quebec expressionism.

In Montreal, she began with an internship at the Atelier Graff, then moved on to teaching at the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal in 1971, then at UQAM and finally at UQTR. During her career, she will meet Jean-Paul Riopelle, René Derouin, Serge Lemoyne and Pierre Ayot. She will also join the group Media, Contraste and participates in the foundation of wood engravers Xylon-Québec. She will teach a whole generation of young artists, techniques of engraving and contemporary print by participating in the Atelier Presse-Papier. This devotion to teaching enabled him to settle in Quebec and pursue his artistic practice in parallel with a workshop in Switzerland.

She then won several public commissions (Palais de Justice de Longueuil, several Pavilions at Laval University in Quebec City, at the Auditorium in Montreux or for the Festival international de musique de Victoriaville in 1989) which brought him his reputation as a committed and prolific artist. Her preferred medium is engraving but from the 80’s she will explore painting in impressive formats which she could not afford in engraving.

For nearly half a century, Francine Simonin pursued a pictorial quest in constant renewal, exploring committed themes such as the woman’s body and its representation in art. She has participated in nearly 200 solo and group exhibitions around the world (Switzerland, France, Canada, United States, Spain, etc.) and her works are part of numerous museum and private collections such as the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa or the Canada Council Art Bank in Ottawa.

Francine Simonin died on October 9, 2020, at the age of 84, in Montreal.

Galerie Cosner is the leader in the sale of Francine Simonin paintings. Contact us if you want to sell your painting by Francine Simonin.


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