Claude Tousignant, C.M.
Claude Tousignant is a Canadian artist who was born in Montreal in 1932. He studied at the School of Art and Design at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from 1948-1952. From his earliest works, his intention was to make purely abstract paintings in which nothing interfered with the viewer's sensation of colour. No human or identifiable shapes can be found in Tousignant's work, only geometric shapes and solid colours. Tousignant wanted his paintings to be perceived as objects—as autonomous commodities—with no inner meanings or reference to anything else. He also explores geometric forms and bright colours with his sculptures.
Tousignant is a member of the Montreal Association of Non-Figurative Artists. His works are exhibited in Canada and around the world. In 1965, he represented Canada in the 8th Biennial of São Paulo. In 1973, the National Gallery of Canada mounted a retrospective exhibition of his work. Claude Tousignant: Sculptures was organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1982 and Claude Tousignant: Monochromes, 1978-1993, was presented at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec in 1994. In 2009, Tousignant was the subject of a major retrospective at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal.
Tousignant was the recipient of the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award—presented by the Canada Council for the Arts for outstanding achievement by mid-career artists—in 1974, and the Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas—the highest visual-arts prize awarded by the Quebec government—in 1989. He was also appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1976 and in 2010 was named a winner of the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.