Halifax

Jacques Hurtubise, Clara, 1965, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 72".

Jacques Hurtubise, Clara, 1965, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 72".

Halifax

Jacques Hurtubise

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
1723 Hollis Street
May 14–September 5, 2011

Curated by Sarah Fillmore

A master of the controlled accident, Jacques Hurtubise is recognized for his splash—that icon of painterly incident whose fluid shape he carefully outlines, stencils, or symmetrically blots onto his canvases in electric color palettes. In the late 1960s, Hurtubise began working with square canvases and joining them in grids, shifting them like tectonic plates under an erupting gesture, or dismantling them and rearranging his compositions into formal puzzles. His “Blackout Paintings” of the 1970s leave any activity almost entirely eclipsed, with affichiste-like shreds of abstraction relegated to the borderlines of the grid. With more than sixty paintings and prints spanning Hurtubise’s career, this retrospective and its catalogue will track the Quebec artist’s course through successive approaches to painting—AbEx to hard-edge abstraction, tachism to Plasticien, Pop, Op, and onward—and the fissures that his work has steadily cut into these foundations.