In 1963, the painter began the decade of the most intense and striking artistic production of his career. Without integrating a school or an ideology of his time, Hurtubise sought instead to react several movements of modern art.
The works of Jacques Hurtubise of this decade are excellent examples of Quebec op art, but without limiting themselves to that. The Justine Canvas (1965) is a succession of sequenced geometric splashing, which seems to come from a larger ensemble and reminiscent of the repetitions of pop art. According to the author Guy Robert in the book L'Art au Québec depuis 1940 : "The works of Hurtubise from 1964 have a language more stripped, explodes and implodes at the same time" 1. In addition, Guy Robert qualifies this repetition of motifs like percussion. It goes without saying that through these works, the viewer feels the rhythm and dynamics of the pictorial rhythm.
The composition Justine also meets all the criteria of the hard-edge, that is to say a geometric rigor, vibrant colors in flat and a sharpness of the surfaces. The artist uses the term hard edge splashy to describe his work. Mainly practiced by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, the pose or stop of the painter's gesture allows the artist to see where the starting spot will lead the painting. At Hurtubise, this gesture is perceived as a struggle between the artist and the canvas. This confrontation results in a strong controlled energy, far from the result of chance. The splash is a spontaneous gesture that he performs during a state of restless, tense, even worried. This tension continues later when Hurtubise tries to dominate this splash by controlling it by the texture, the form and its flatness
1. Robert, Guy (1973). L’art au Québec depuis 1940, Montréal : La Presse, p. 146. Consult the full article on Justine (1965) by Jacques Hurtubise.
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Jacques Hurtubise (1939 - 2014)
Galerie Cosner au Ritz-Carlton Montréal
Acrylic on canvas
Post-War Canadian art
36'' x 48'' / 91,4 cm x 122 cm
Signed and dated lower right