With Marcel Barbeau’s passing in early January 2016, Border Crossings has made its 2010 interview with the prolific artist available online. Originally published in Issue 114: Marcel x 3, you can now read it here and add the back issue to your collection here.
From CBC’s January 4 article:
“Marcel Barbeau, an influential painter and sculptor, died on Saturday, Jan. 2 at the age of 90, with a paintbrush in his hand. Barbeau is known as a pioneer of abstract art in Canada and one of the early members of a group of Montreal artists who broke with tradition and the Catholic Church by signing onto the Refus global manifesto, which argued for greater freedom of expression and a more open education system.”
Marcel Barbeau with his papier mâché sculpture, Oblongue étaline (Oblong slack), 1952. Photograph: Maurice Perron. Courtesy the artist.
Excerpted from Border Crossings’ interview:
What sense do you have of your achievement? I can’t answer that. Somebody else would have to give you that answer, someone who has more distance. I’ve worked for more than 50 years. But it’s not pride that comes to mind when I look over the work. I did it because I had the need to do it. I’m not better than anyone who is doing something else. I had no choice. We think we have a choice, but we don’t.
You’re doomed to be a painter? Yes. I’m caught.
Are you still discovering things? All the time.