After graduating from the École des beaux-arts de Montréal in 1963, where he became one of Albert Dumouchel’s assistants, Pierre Ayot produced an impressive body of graphic work whose later expansion into sculpture, photography and installation remained true to his original approach, relentlessly questioning habits of perception and thwarting the mechanics of representation. In the spirit of Pop Art, his imagery, first borrowed from comic strips and media culture, was further defined through the celebration of everyday, common and banal objects. In 1966, Ayot co-founded Ateliers libres 848, later renamed Atelier Graff, in 1970. This artist-run centre would become a major hub for the printmaking scene in Montréal and Québec. In 1967, Ayot turned his attention to screen-printing processes to investigate the interplay between the real and the illusory. His work conveys a somewhat humorous exaltation of repeated patterns, and a critical attitude towards the flatness of the silkscreened surface. In 1972, he began incorporating three-dimensional objects into the morphology of his eclectic work, thus marking the fictions of mimesis.

Les Grandes aventures de Benvenuto Cellini, 1989, Silkscreen, photographs and acrylic on plywood.
© Succession P. Ayot / SOCAN (2022)