Contemporary painter, Jean Gaudreau was born in Quebec City in 1964. He obtained a college degree in fine arts in 1988 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University Laval. He uses different techniques such as oil painting, acrylic painting and mixed media. Exuberant, colorful, restless, paintings by Jean Gaudreau leave no one indifferent. He is one of those artists who remind us how art is a visceral activity, both a way of life and often a reason to exist. It is difficult to remain indifferent to the charisma that characterizes Jean Gaudreau; like the passion he cultivated for his craft and for painting. To him to paint seems an insatiable need. In his compositions, the artist plays with elaborate staging of characters from the world of circus and dance, sometimes dynamic, sometimes static, that can be incorporated in various formal elements to create an open and animated space. In terms of characters, he chose to stage subjects of threadlike appearance to highlight the importance of movement. The arms and legs of the characters sometimes seem to stretch to infinity, giving the viewer the impression that they embrace the whole universe. “I love to play with contrasts! “the artist asserts. “It allows me to explore the primitive origins of humanity and draw on the fierce emotions they foster. I have always been fascinated by how emotions are triggered and I believe that it is by going to the root of things that we are able to plunge into the very heart of what constitutes our humanity. “
“Some see in Jean Gaudreau’s painting only the abstraction. Yet his pictorial universe is highly suggestive and carries with it the imprint of recognizable, though often hidden in the tangle of matter.Over the years, his exploration is increasingly an accomplice of the materials he uses. They are an integral part of his approach and are a primary track playback. Dance, circus, living arrangements are also recurrent inspirations. They set the pace, they are the matrix. ” Robert Bernier
In 2009, Jean Gaudreau saw himself proposing a presence in the latest version of the Image Mill by Robert Lepage (Ex Machina). Among other artists appearing in the renewed Image Mill edition include Jean-Paul Lemieux, Alfred Pellan and Jean-Paul Riopelle.
Quebec artist painter, works by Jean Gaudreau are part of many public and private collections, such as the Cirque du Soleil, who chose to expose twenty of his paintings in its international headquarters.
Jean Gaudreau’s painting is still little known to the general public. It must be said that the artist is still young. Considering the energy he puts into producing and creating events around his painting, there is no doubt that this situation could change in the near future. Active in the visual arts since the mid-1980s, Gaudreau worked until recently in Quebec, where he enjoys a certain reputation with a growing circle of collectors.
For several years, Gaudreau associated dance and performance with his painting. Both in the themes it addresses and in the concept of many of the events it has produced, the body has become a central part of his work. However, his painting has changed significantly in his last production. In a slightly muddled writing in which the links between the surface, the bodies and the graphic signs were sometimes difficult to grasp, from a dark palette animated by a disheveled gesture, Gaudreau moved to a more seated, more concise production, where the general spirit of the works is better defined. This is an important step in his approach, which shows a certain maturation.
Thus, beyond a more supported surface structure, Gaudreau’s new works have as their main quality the ability to express an artistic intention that is more clearly felt and, consequently, better directed. In his compositions, the artist plays with rich staging where characters borrowed from the world of circus and dance, sometimes dynamic, sometimes static, are incorporated into the different formal elements to create an open and lively space. The color, hitherto confined in a supporting role, becomes in this series a fundamental foundation of the whole, without however sinking into the purely decorative dimension. Particularly effective accomplice, it acts rather as a trigger.
Source : Robert Bernier, La peinture au Québec depuis les années 1960, Les Éditions de l’Homme, 2002, Gaudreau Jean Gaudreau (1964), pages 218-219.