The context: In the 1960s, Quebec was in the midst of great changes, in both the artistic and the social realms: more and more people wanted to shake up the society’s opposition to progress so that Quebec could take its development in hand. The result was the “Quiet Revolution.” Already in the late 1940s and the 1950s artists had called traditional values into question and explored new modes of expression. Their rallying cry: freedom!

Material required:
• A computer with an Internet connection to consult reference sites
• Access to the site (the address of the virtual exhibition)
• Access to presentation software (such as PowerPoint)
• 5 small rectangles of paper per person
• A hat or large container
• A sheet of paper no larger than 21 x 28 cm per person
• Pencils, erasers, a fine-tipped black felt pen, brightly coloured felt pens

Getting started:
Ask the students: Do they know any Quebec or Canadian artists? Have they ever hear Read More


The context: In the 1960s, Quebec was in the midst of great changes, in both the artistic and the social realms: more and more people wanted to shake up the society’s opposition to progress so that Quebec could take its development in hand. The result was the “Quiet Revolution.” Already in the late 1940s and the 1950s artists had called traditional values into question and explored new modes of expression. Their rallying cry: freedom!

Material required:
• A computer with an Internet connection to consult reference sites
• Access to the site (the address of the virtual exhibition)
• Access to presentation software (such as PowerPoint)
• 5 small rectangles of paper per person
• A hat or large container
• A sheet of paper no larger than 21 x 28 cm per person
• Pencils, erasers, a fine-tipped black felt pen, brightly coloured felt pens

Getting started:

Ask the students: Do they know any Quebec or Canadian artists? Have they ever heard of or seen work by Borduas, Riopelle, Pellan or Ferron? In 1948, these Quebec artists wrote a manifesto. What’s a manifesto? Have they heard of the manifesto Refus global? Or Prisme d’Yeux?


Resources:
Radio-Canada archives: Refus global, http://archives.radio-canada.ca/arts_culture/arts_visuels/clips/837/ (2:42)


Manifestos were published during the period of the Great Darkness, before the Quiet Revolution. Discuss the context of the Great Darkness (Maurice Duplessis, the stranglehold of the Church) to raise some possible reasons why these artists called everything into question and explored new modes of expression.

 
Resources:
Radio-Canada archives: la “grandenoirceur” http://archives.radio-canada.ca/arts_culture/arts_visuels/clips/835/(14:49)Audio document with a more historical flavour.

Carrying out the project (in two stages):
1. Situate the historical context with a multimedia biography of an artist from this period (society and culture);
2. Create a work of art inspired by the work of Alfred Pellan, an artist from this period (visual arts).


1. A multimedia biography

Artists are a part of their era; some are avant-garde, others examine society and contest certain aspects of it. It is interesting to situate artists in the historical context of the manifesto era in Quebec.


ACTIVITIES:
1.1. As a group, prepare a multimedia biography of an artist from the manifesto era—Paul-ÉmileBorduas, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Alfred Pellan or MarcelleFerron—using images, sound and video (for example PowerPoint or a video clip). Consult the resources suggested below to gather materials.


Content:
- Summary of the artist’s life
- His or her artistic output at the time of Refus global or Prismed’Yeux
- What did Refus global or Prismed’Yeux represent for them? (Connect to the historical context)

1.2. Present the biographies.
1.3. Discussion: What kind of manifesto would someone write today?
Resources:
Virtual exhibition Discover Quebec and Canadian Art

2. A work of art inspired by the work of Alfred Pellan and the mural art of the En masse collective: Fantastic Worlds

During the manifesto era, Alfred Pellan’s vision of art extolled freedom. He took inspiration from modern European art movements such as Surrealism and Cubism to create fantastic worlds. The contemporary artists’ collective En masse also creates fantastic mural art inspired by graphic novels and graffiti.

ACTIVITIES:

2.1. In the exhibition Discover Quebec and Canadian Art, view the Pellan piece Au soleil bleu (Under the Blue Sun). Comment on the arrangement of the elements in the space of the painting (free-floating, the lack of perspective, objects placed in every direction), the colours and the motifs.

2.2. Read the biography of Pellan and connected links.

2.3. View the work of the En masse collective on-line. Observe the way the images interpenetrate, the way they extend and intertwine without interruption.

2.4. As a preparatory activity, create exquisite corpses (see glossary) to make sure the students grasp the idea of a fantastic world.

2.5. Ask the students to write down the names of objects (banana, tree, umbrella, etc.) on 5 small rectangular pieces of paper. Put them in a hat to be drawn out.

2.6. Have each student draw 3 to 5 words out of the hat to incorporate (meaning to conceal) in a fantastic image.

2.7. On a small sheet of paper (no larger than 21 x 28 cm), use a pencil to draw the objects whose names were taken from the hat.

2.8. Add other images and shapes to make connections between the objects. The sheet should be filled.

2.9. Use a fine-tipped black felt pen to trace the images, and erase the pencil.

2.10. Fill in using brightly-coloured felt pens (leave in black fields and fields with motifs).

2.11. Add motifs, when appropriate, in the coloured fields and on the images.

2.12. As a way of discussing the activity, have the students try to identify the initial images in their friends’ projects.

Resources:
Virtual exhibition Discover Quebec and Canadian Art
Website of the En masse artists’ collective: http://enmasse.info


© 2013, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. All Rights Reserved.

Surrealist composition in a palette of orange tones in geometricand human forms which overlap each other.

Alfred Pellan Quebec City 1906 - Laval, Quebec, 1988 Under the Blue Sun 1946 Oil on canvas 208 x 168 x 2 cm Gift of Power Corporation of Canada 2002.240 © Succession Alfred Pellan / SODRAC (2013)

Alfred Pellan
1940 - 1965
© 2013, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. All Rights Reserved.


Painting with a white background crossed by a wide black horizontal band and a wide green vertical band.

Paul-Émile Borduas Saint-Hilaire (Québec) 1905 - Paris 1960 Composition 44 1959 Oil on canevas 92 x 73 cm ©Estate Paul-Émile Borduas/SODRAC (2012)

Paul-Émile Borduas
Century
© 2013, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. All Rights Reserved.


Abstract painting of an Austrian landscape whose textured surface was created with a spatula.

Jean-Paul Riopelle Montréal 1923 - l'Isle-aux-Grues(Québec)2002 Austria III 1954 Oil on canevas 200 x 300.7 cm Estate Jean-Paul Riopelle /SODRAC (2012) @Purchase, legs Horsley et Annie Townsend Bequest

Jean-Paul Riopelle
Century
© 2013, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. All Rights Reserved.


Large stained glass in five panels made up of abstract geometric forms of different colours

Marcelle Ferron Louiseville, (Quebec)1924 - Montreal 2001 Untitled Coloured glass,PVC 1972 194 X 863, X 2,5 cm Gift of Raymond and Alicia Lévesque

Marcelle Ferron

© 2013, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. All Rights Reserved.


Horizontal rectangular painting made up of red, blue and white geometric forms.

Alfred Pellan Quebec City 1906 - Laval, Quebec, 1988 Banner for the exhibition "Prisme d'Yeux" 1948 Oil on canvas 56.5 x 127.3 cm Purchase, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' Volunteer Association Fund 2003.24 © Estate of Alfred Pellan/SODRAC (2013)

Alfred Pellan
1940 - 1965
© 2013, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

Culture and Society:

• Investigate the relationship between the visual arts, society and other contexts
• Examine social realities from a historical perspective
• Add to one’s knowledge of key cultural phenomena and related vocabulary: national affirmation, nationalism
• Observe the dynamic between changing attitudes and the role of the state in the modernization of Quebec society
• Question the influence of ideas on cultural phenomena
• Evaluate the artistic or intellectual contribution of individuals and groups to Canadian identity 

Visual Arts:

• Appreciate works of art and cultural objects from our artistic heritage
• Enrich the knowledge of cultural landmarks based on elements of art history: art periods (academicism, modernity), new values, demands (manifestos: Prismed’Yeux, Refus global)
• Examine the role of artists as agents of change and their effects on society, groups and individuals
• Explore creative ideas inspired by artists’ work
• Create one’s own images, applying visual arts principles and criteria (composition, colour, form)
• Share one’s creative experience by identifying the initial images in the other students’ work


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