Tête à tête avec Monique Mongeau & Guy Pellerin

Bernard Lamarche

Monique Mongeau & Guy Pellerin In their workshop, Montréal, 2023.
Photo: Alexandra Dumais
There is a question that I had always wanted to ask Monique Mongeau and Guy Pellerin—something that had haunted me with regard to their shared path. This tête-à-tête finally gave me the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity. United in life for more than forty years, the two artists make paintings that belong to different categories: Mongeau works with a schematic yet beautifully complex figuration; Pellerin develops abstractions in a monochromatic style. The encounter between the two happens in the house that accommodates their studios, in which works do not stand next to each other physically, yet where ideas burst forth.

In one room, Mongeau’s new paintings combine names of flowers and hide their common colour, which is revealed to whomever takes the time to look at them for a while. Active in Québec contemporary art since the late 1970s, Mongeau has built an enviable painting and drawing career. The iconography of her works is especially identifiable by the vegetal and fruit motifs to which she has returned again and again. Nature has been her favourite subject since 1987. She has developed an impressive herbarium since the 1990s, in the form of black silhouettes that probe representation (the collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal has 125 specimens). She has continued to evolve her study of plants and flowers in recent paintings, forming the figures out of twisted letters.

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