A signatory of the Refus global in 1948, Marcel Barbeau was a pioneer of the Automatiste movement, and one of the key artists who laid the groundwork for modern art in Québec. He is also recognized as one of the first Québécois artists to participate in the New York art scene of the early 1950s, where he discovered American Abstract Expressionism, and later, Op Art, which led him to experiment with kinetic art. As a painter, choreographer and sculptor, he maintained a practice that was strongly anchored in spontaneity and a thought process that was both intuitive and experimental. Barbeau espoused a non-conformist ideology, and has bequeathed a protean body of work that is indicative of the great freedom of expression he maintained throughout his career.

Portait of Marcel Barbeau.
Photo: Maurice Perron (1992)