INTRODUCTION TO ALBUM 1
In album 1the works are presented in chronological order dating from 1959 to 2005 and each has a number: the first four digits are the year of its creation and the last three digits are the number of the canvas itself. This will give you the opportunity to witness the evolution of her style, her colours, themes, and her concerns through the years, etc.
You will notice that from time to time in album 1, that there will be pictures of Monique at different ages, with a short text of her composition.
If you want to read the title of the work, dimensions, materials used and the comments and / or thoughts that Monique attributed to them, then I urge you to read the description cards that are below each painting.
Note: Sometimes I offer ''certain precisions'' and / or comments. They will always be preceded by five asterisks ***** and will be in brackets (). All other punctuation is part of the original text by Monique. In addition, Monique has often written text in her paintings: if it is readable or not, I have transcribed the text in full in ''comment and / or explanation'', except for album two of course.
Note: Monique developed these description cards and she has kept them current until early 1976. Some works have not been catalogued in this period, so I have inserted the information myself. Only the heading ''category'' remains ‘‘empty’’: Monique is the only one able to fill these in. (Read Monique’s text a little further in the introduction to familiarize yourselves with the definition of the categories.)
Note: Finally, I added the heading ‘‘Comment and / or explanation’’. I collected all the comments and explanations that Monique wrote about her paintings, whether in the drafts of her cards or other documents, including oral testimony that she gave me through the years. Some paintings are ''reinterpreted'' by Monique. These new interpretations, which are dated as mush as possible, are included in the latter and are related to the fact that in the late 1980’s, early 1990’s, Monique introduced into her art the concept of Sacred Art of a religious nature and Sacred Art of a secular nature.
When I say, ''reinterpreted'' I mean that the fundamental message of the canvas remains the same, the language used is ''altered'' based on her new approach to art that is to say, ''Sacred''. While studying Sacred Art (Iconic art) she was developing the principles of ‘’secular art’’. She says: -''The right to work is sacred, friendship is sacred, the love of our children is sacred, and so on. Society has ‘’desacralised’’ our lives, leaving human beings without landmarks. We must identify what is sacred to us whether in the religious context that is well defined, but particularly in the secular sphere that has also a legitimate right to a sacred hierarchy and its core values even if they are outside beliefs.''
I offer you here an amusing anecdote about an article that appeared in a newspaper in September 1970. The title of the article was:’’ An erotic painter works out of a disaffected hall of the Fathers of the Holy Sacrament building.'' In fact, Monique had her studio in a disused sacristy in their building. She created and taught there. The ''scandal'' forced her to leave her studio. Here is what she said in response in the newspapers: ‘‘It was not exhibitionism. My painting has an ‘’informational’’ character in that it draws on eroticism in advertising, as it invades us in North America.’’ She also wrote: ''I am an artist and my way of denouncing the phenomenon of ‘‘women as objects'' in our society is to paint, to caricature with humour, sarcasm and irony. That upset’s a certain mentality, certain groups of people and they counterattacked.'' In a letter written in 1985, she said this: ''The story’s that journalists write about a person or a topical may contain certain ‘‘inaccuracies’’: these folks earn their living trying to make their ''stories'' attract the eye. So they sometimes seek scandal, sometimes exaggeration ... a bit of ''sensationalism'' is always sort of fair play ... No, I have no other child except for Cybèle whatever the number that newspapers sometimes attributed to me ... No, I'm not an erotic painter, yes, it was to try to minimize the impact of my ideas. Yes, it did me harm then: it made me lose my studio. Yes, that is how politics often work’s. No, it is not ''just for fun'' that group’s clash ideas and things happen ...''
You will certainly notice that in the late sixties / early seventies, the works called ''erotic'' are more numerous, Monique recounted this: ''At the time I was at ‘’war'' against eroticism in advertising, so I created a series of ten prints to be sent to editors of different newspapers to sensitize them, trying to make them realize what they were promoting . I chose to caricature, exaggerated eroticism with humour drawing real pictures rather ''porn'' to underscore the point. Many phoned me to express their ''indignation''. (Here, Monique laughed.) In addition, I created another series that I sent to several doctors selected in the phone book, including also the office of the College of Physicians. I wanted to indicate my disagreement with how they treated women, whereas we are all hysterical, not deserving the same care as men: women, not being as important as those who ''make a living'' for their families. My feminism is expressed through my pencils, my brushes and my humour.''(She expressed herself in her writings also.)
Monique, like many artists, had ''periods'' throughout her work. In the sixties, she accepted that her painting be called ''psychedelic''. She meant to convey that it was all a matter of imagination and inner search. That drug’s had no connection with the ability to create (This is part of her collaboration with the police Youth Assistance unit at station No. 34 in Montreal who sent her subjects (young) hoping that her painting class could help guide them). In the late sixties, she was elaborating the concept of ''soul expression''. Then in the seventies (1973 to 1976-77), she formulated ''Psychoanalysis through imagery or conceptual painting.'' Since 1987, she revisited her work, redefined it in terms of religious Sacred Art, and started to establish the principles of secular Sacred Art. The core of her approach to art has not really changed since its inception in her early years. The search for the grater Being, communication, a language to express oneself, evolve, get in touch with oneself and others. Only her definition of ''language'' has changed through her own evolution, refining the concept of a language of painting that would encompass as many variables as possible in order to achieve a level of understanding and knowledge necessary that would be at the height of her personal aspirations and those of her human brothers and sisters. The following is ultimately a ''formalization'' of the way that Monique attempts to interpret her ''images.'' This text is the introduction to the photo album of her paintings and dates from 1976. Finally, this ''guide / grid'' (Category) analysis is valid for all of her work, whatever the period.
Before presenting her narrative about categories, I will present here a text by Monique that I am sure; will give you a more precise understanding of how she addresses creation and her works. This text preceded slightly the narrative of her categories:
‘’They are ‘’Mandela’s'' created using the techniques of awareness of ‘’soul expression’’. Each one was analysed psychologically and the double result of this research gave birth to conceptual psychoanalysis. The mention of the years listed beside each work is the date of conceptualization of each picture. The latter is considered completed only when its involvement enters my conscience, although the painting as a ''painting'' will never again be retouched after the initial design, it will not therefore be completed sometimes until several years later.
It will then be re-handled as an ''object''...
This extensive research allows me to generate relevant data about the process of creation and assimilation - interpretation of the environment through our individual perceptions. I am currently working on their classification and writing the data.
Taking into account the broadcast media that are currently made available to us, the technological advancement that we are witnessing, I had no hesitation in ‘‘freezing’’ my creations as long as necessary for research purposes.
Looking at the cover of a magazine where a picture of a historical monument appears, one wonders what is the original work? The monument? The photo? The ‘’front page’’? The magazine its self?
The utilisation of the basic medium of the artistic creation changes, but also changes the use of the work itself ... by what path the medium becomes the message?
Therefore, this immobilization of my works themselves has never meant in my life of the past decade a lack of visibility of the works. These pictures were creation and support to the environment, light shows, environment shows, conferences, pedagogical tools, etc.
I do not attempt to follow or precede the aesthetic concern in which the so-called plastic arts have engaged themselves in recent decades. I follow the existential concerns of my time through the means best suited to my expressiveness.
It is in light of this question that I ask Art in which way these pictures can be understood: OF WHAT HELP CAN THE CREATIVE FUCTION BE TO PERMIT A HUMAN BEING TO HAVE ACCESS TO HIS OWN LIFE ?’’
PRESENTATION OF THE CATEGORYS
***** (This is the original text written by Monique)
‘’Painting is an art
I have not had time to look into the definition of art as such, my approach to defining life and welfare demands, of course, a useful orientation to the act and the artistic object, I agree.
If I had to identify my affiliation to aesthetics, the demonstration of plastic theorems such as the Academy presents them, would play a very small part in terms of my basic concerns.
The quality of my journey into the wide world (under the circumstances for approximately eighty years, considering that I am a human being) mainly retains my interest, my commitment and catalysis my energy and my efforts.
My process of initiation, expression and confrontation into the heart of pictorial language, offers itself as an outlet for my desire to observe, understand and finally communication with and for myself, my race, my environment and the phenomenon of life.
At least two points are needed to draw a line visible to the observer. Thus, in principle, to differentiate and evaluate the elements of my perceptual field, I established the practice of my vision from two different angles of apprehension each one originating from a distinct appraisal system.
A system for the experiment that I used in the social teaching that my cultural background gives me. That is to say, this whole definition of existence and life under the principle commonly called REALITY, which implies a range of spiritual, psychological, emotional, intellectual, physical, social and economic activities. A system that I call ''directivo-critic'' and which of course carries a set of organization, methods and languages. I include ‘’verbal’’ language that can also be called ''progressive'' language.
And another system for the experiment which I used different teachings that gave me listening attentively to autonomous observations of my senses at the contact of stimuli that they receive, project, exchange, superimpose and complement. The objective ''co-science'' of the wider world that identifies and defines a whole set of values and actions, energies and powers, desires, needs and goals, it may be called OBJECTIVATION. This system of experience of existence is also conducted by a series of organization, methods and languages. I include in particular the language of the ‘’picture’’ that I qualify as being a ‘’conceptual’’ language.
Then we can better understand the flow of my thoughts through pictures, medium where I am speaking on the conceptual mode.
The task is to put together here nearly two hundred important conceptual reflections of my life over the last 15 years in order of consequences relative to one and other.
To facilitate the introduction of these pictures - report from a system of objectifying co-(n) science of perception in that other organized system called reality, I am drawing here a schematic categorization of the functions of perception that contribute during the production of each of these images.
They then divided into six major functions of reflection:
1 - Existential testimony:
practice that assesses self-consciousness that I realize from tangible experiences that come to me in this part of my life that evolved within the framework and modes of the ''reality''.
2 – Analytical objectifying reflection or re-conditioner:
practice that consists of observing on one part a specific incident (event, feeling, behaviour, etc..) operating in the ''reality'' system and that, while is of concern to my environment dose not necessarily directly affected the evolution of my own existence, therefore art witness of its century;
second, it is the practice of assessing this specific incidence in the light of the system'' of ‘’objectifying co-(n) - science'', therefore art reflecting on his century;
finally, a practice by which I auto-condition myself to enjoy in an ever more tangible way this wonderful journey into the wide world that I chose to carry through ''all'' of this sensitive vehicle permeable and influent that is the human mammal, therefore art ascetic of life.
3 – The organigram-condenser:
practice that expresses perceptions, concerns, feelings and impressions in the form of organic structure which highlights the chain of consequences that connects and serves to clarify concepts that seek expression in the tangle of different functions of perception.
4 - The Exorcist:
practice that aims to liberate objectifying thought of urgent and miss identified preoccupations that subjugates and hinders its free operation.
5 - conceptogram:
practice that promotes the objectual emergence and articulation of a concept which is clearly identified and thus the globality of its structure gives an inalienable autonomy.
6 - the corollary:
practice to prove the statement of a conceptogram by applying its premises to a situation other or more specific than that under which the initial conceptogram was born.
It is, in sum, here, the picture/reportage’s that have formed spontaneously or under the impulse of my will for clarification all along my journey through the vast world of existence. I am aware that the drafting style that I used to write down my stories is a form of analytic shorthand of perception. As such therefore, to reach a more common language, each image requires at least some explanation. This is the literary translation of this initiation that I am working on right now, when my apprenticeship is ended; I will enter the phase of companionship.
Laurentides, Quebec 1976
To conclude this introduction, here are some additional notes from Monique about herself and her works.
''- General constants concerning the ‘’exorcists'''':
they express what ‘’fucks me up’’ to the point of polluting my life if I don’t exorcise them by painting them.
- If it ’’fucks me up’’ me a little: the picture is of medium size.
- If it ’’fucks me up’’ a lot: the picture is small.
- If it ‘’fucks me up'' extremely': the picture is big.
Basic concepts of consciousness or field in which it operates:
1 - the directivo-critic (= current reality)''normalization''
2 - objectification (= nagual, objectified truth)''
''These are the picture/stories that formed in my head spontaneously OR under the impulse of my desire for clarification, throughout my journey in the Vast World of life. I am of course aware that this mode of writing I used to write down my stories is a form of shorthand and also of perception. As such, to reach a common language, each picture requires at least an explanation if not a full translation.''
***** (Clarification: In the heading ''Comment and / or explanation,'' Monique mentions the words ''Tonal and Nagual'' She uses these words, inspired by the book by ''Castanada’’ to explain some of her paintings. Here is the definition she gives:
‘’Tonal- First stage:
Following the interpretation of reality that is where we are to learn ‘’the name of the game'' meaning ''learning to learn'', means: believe everything.
Nagual - 2nd stage:
Idem, means : Being able to believe and not believe (discover and develop learning capabilities) believe simultaneously, not understanding it, maybe it can not be understood, perhaps unless you interpret and fall back into the tonal, but to learn well – BEING ABEL to achieve believing and not believing simultaneously, developing speculative capacity.''
***** (Last precision: Concerning ‘’stained glass’’, Monique had an important commercial and artistic production. Only those of a more artistic nature are presented in this site. Finally, they are only a ''sample" of her creations, unfortunately, many have been sold without having been photographed beforehand.)