Exhibition Ultimate territories

The exhibition ULTIMATE TERRITORIES by artist René Derouin will be inaugurated at the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke on June 11, 2016. It will continue there until next September 25, before moving on to Galerie Montcalm in the city of Gatineau from October 13 to November 20, and then to the Centre d’exposition de Rouyn-Noranda from December 2 to March 5, 2017.

The book ULTIMATE TERRITORIES, launched to coincide with this travelling exhibition, explores the questions raised by the artist’s creative process, as revealed in interviews at his Val-David studio. Produced with the collaboration of art historian Gilles Lapointe and graphic designer Gianni Caccia, the publication provides valuable insight into Derouin’s practice, expressed in the words of this man who sees himself, through his travels and observations, as a vehicle for a memory of the Americas.

In ULTIMATE TERRITORIES, the public is invited to discover a pivotal exhibition in Derouin’s career. With these works on paper and wood reliefs produced between 2000 and 2013, it touches on the main stages in a creative journey that has taken the artist ever farther from his studio, be it to Mexico City or Barcelona, Puebla or Percé, or Baie-Johan-Beetz on Québec’s North Shore. The first decade of the 2000s and the beginning of the next formed an important turning point in Derouin’s work, as he returned to black and white while delving deeper into the art of paper cutouts, both a Japanese and a Mexican tradition that made a powerful impression on him during his stays in those two countries.

In 1999, the artist’s retrospective at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts offered an overview of his North-South undertaking, ranging from Suite nordique to Équinoxe, along with Migrations and Largage (1994). This major exhibition, first presented at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, generated significant recognition by introducing a wide public to a body of work that broke new ground in its exploration of what it means to belong to this American continent, as well as the artist’s commitment to a knowledge and understanding of territories. This recognition subsequently led him to establish the Jardins du  Précambrien in Val-David, a site for exhibitions and installations which Derouin piloted for two decades. Following the retrospective, the awarding of the Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas and the Jean-Paul Riopelle career grant marked both a validation and the end of a cycle. Faced with the challenge of moving in a new direction after this success, Derouin turned instinctively to black and white, as he has in each of his periods of creative recharging. The exhibition ULTIMATE TERRITORIES illustrates this decade of intense research and reflection.

ULTIMATE TERRITORIES will travel to three important regions of Québec: Estrie, Outaouais and Abitibi. In this way, it reflects the essence of the practice of this exceptional artist. Exhibiting his works every three years, René Derouin remains faithful to his conviction that “time is the source of renewal.”