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ABOUT ROBERT MARCHESSAULT
Born in Montreal, Quebec 1953, and married to the painter Teresa Cullen, the artist's family moved to the USA in 1954, he grew up in Philadelphia and Syracuse NY. He studied at Le lycée Fustel-de-Coulanges in Strasbourg France (1967-68). In 1970 he returned to Montreal and completed art studies at Concordia University (BFA 1978) where he met his wife and fellow artist Teresa Cullen. By 1980 they were living and painting in Toronto at a studio on King St W and Dufferin. A regular exhibition career began with the Gadatsy Gallery in Yorkville (1980-87), followed by a switch to Bau-Xi Galleries in 1988 where he is still represented. Rising studio rental costs resulted in a move north of the city where the artists set up a country studio in Grey County. In 1997 after completing a MA degree at U of Toronto the couple moved to a new country studio in Oro-Medonte ON near Barrie where they continue to work.
Marchessault's work has developed over the years from representational through abstraction to a blend of approaches displayed in exhibitions nationally and internationally. Galleries in both Canada and the US represent him, showing his work regularly. Marchessault paintings are widely collected with hundreds of works in both corporate and private collections.
"When you look at a tree and perceive its stillness, you become still yourself." --Ekhart Tolle
My paintings are an active response to a sense of wonder at being in the world. They do not address any specific art discourse or theory.
Using a simple landscape format provides a surface on which I try to express and/or reflect on my mind-state while contemplating experiences I have had - mostly outdoors.
Since the late 1970s my works have gone through a range of stylistic treatments with a focus on space, distance, atmosphere, light, energy and textures - presented on a two dimensional surface using paint. I compose and paint images that resonate between principle subjects and surrounding spaces.
Sometimes the sensation of momentarily loosing "myself" occurs in open places; a perception where boundaries are only shimmering illusions and a holistic presence is pervasive.
"I see trees, plants and bushes as tracing energetic linkages between earth and sky. The tree breathes what we exhale. When we exhale, the tree breathes. So. We have a common destiny with the tree. We are all from the earth." --(Floyd Red Crow)
My landscape paintings are composed from memories of an experience. I use memory as a filtering agent to distill an image for a painting, discarding useless details. Sometimes I do on-site drawings or take photographs (which pile up in my studio); but I do not generally refer to them much while making a painting. When a painting is complete it must reflect an emotional sensation that calls to mind some aspect of my remembered perceptions. It just needs to "feel right".