LOT 035

1932 -

Polychrome en gris, violet et bleu
acrylic on canvas
on verso signed, titled and dated 1984 - 1988
100 3/4 x 27 3/8 in, 255.9 x 69.5 cm

Estimate: $12,000 - $16,000 CAD

Sold for: $28,125

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Private Collection, Montreal

Claude Tousignant was only 24 years old when he painted his first monochrome, Monochrome orangé, dated 1956. At the time, this was a radical act of painting—audacious in its minimalism and exhilarating in its approach to colour. Not only was Monochrome orangé a watershed in the artist’s career, but it also had great influence in Canadian abstract art. Since then and for many decades, Tousignant continued to experiment within and beyond the canvas as chromatic space. Later in his career, marked by radically innovative milestones such as his series of circular paintings, Tousignant returned with renewed vigour to the monochromes in the 1980s and 1990s.

This work is a fine example of his practice from that time, part of the 1983 series titled Polychromes. These monochromes have a unique physicality to them, since Tousignant built stretchers for these canvases with much deeper sides than usual. The sides were painted in complementary or contrasting colours to the one used on the surface of the work. Thus, the Polychromes are meant to remain unframed.

Polychrome en gris, violet et bleu, as its title suggests, has a soothing lavender surface, with blue and magenta sides. To enjoy these brilliant edges and view the work in its entirety, one must physically move around it and adopt different perspectives. This canvas becomes environmental—it becomes a chromatic space. This Polychrome is a radical and powerful work by Tousignant.

Estimate: $12,000 - $16,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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