Roméo Savoie

 

An “action painter”, Roméo Savoie’s work is concerned with juxtaposing themes. A true mixed-media artist, Savoie experiments constantly with mark-making, using everything from earth and tar to more traditional acrylic paint in his works.

As a result, the surfaces of Savoie’s canvases are dense and highly textural. Savoie’s is a painting of constant reinvention. Studio 21’s director, Ineke Graham describes Savoie as “a philosopher who shows his inner-most feelings and convictions by passionately and (sometimes) savagely, attacking the painting surface.

For me, it’s not about the technique or about one way of doing something. It’s all an artistic process.I’m interested in exploring how an artist creates a piece of art. That’s my quest.So I’m constantly experimenting with materials and subject matter – and with the aesthetics of the painting itself.

Belonging to the first wave of contemporary Acadian artists, Savoie constantly questions the process of painting in his work.His mixed-media paintings are traditionally executed in thematic series, wherein he works and reworks a question or idea until he understands it – and is ready to move on.For this new exhibition, however, Savoie has decided to experiment with the very notion of the series-painting.Rather than creating a new series, Savoie will instead pay homage to his own past work. This special exhibition will be comprised of 10 large-scale and 10 smaller-scale paintings, each new canvas paying tribute to a different series of older paintings.

Born in Moncton in 1928, Savoie’s career has spanned more than four decades. A former architect, Savoie turned his attention to painting in the late 1960s while on an exploratory trip to Europe, which culminated in a two year stay in Aix-en-Provence, France, where Savoie embraced painting seriously.Since 1971, he has had more than 30 solo exhibitions, including a retrospective at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in the spring of 2006.

Roméo Savoie’s work is held in the collections of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal, the Musée national des beaux-arts de Quebec, the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, the University of Moncton, the University of New Brunswick, The Royal Bank and the National Bank of Canada, among others.

Roméo Savoie, who is also a published poet, was awarded an honourary doctorate in visual arts from the University of Moncton in 1999.His studio is based in Grand Barachois, near Shediac, New Brunswick.