First, I would like to introduce myself: my name is Robert Stanton and I was the husband and collaborator of Monique Jarry for twenty-six years. Monique was born July 3, 1947 and died January 21, 2005. The creation of this Sit Web is a tribute to her and her some forty years of artistic life. This ''virtual' 'permanent exhibition of her works and some of her writings relating to art are offered to you good-heartedly in the spirit of contributing to the artistic and cultural life of our time. This site is also the deepest expression of the love I feel for her and the respect and admiration I have for her work. We formed a team and like any self-respecting team when a member is unable to continue the road, the other takes up the baggage of his partner and continued to walk towards the goal: this is what I am doing. Finally, I will summarize here the expression of my deep feelings by quoting a phrase used by Monique’s Acadian grandmother: ‘’Another beautiful word for love is: responsibility.''
Having said that, I will now give you a few explanations that will certainly help to facilitate your journey through this site. Essentially, it consists of five albums, what you are now reading is the general introduction to the site. There is also an introduction for each album.
In album 1, the 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 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''.
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 in the introduction to album 1 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.)
In the introduction to album 1 you will find the above description and also texts by Monique and an explanation of certain terms employed in her description cards. It is a classification system of her works that she invented.
The second album is a collection of works, drawings, sketches, studies and works completed or unfinished, all without cards. At most, there will be a brief comment at the bottom of some of the works. The first ''drawings'' that you will see date back to her early school years in primary school. I have included them because these drawings are typical of a girl in sixth grade and do not seem to give any clues, to the untrained eye, I suppose, to what was to come and also, I found it touching / amusing to present them to you. In this second album, I have endeavoured to present the works as much as possible in chronological order, especially the first few. There will be no titles, no dates (rarely) and works that contain text will be transcribed at the bottom.
The third album is composed of a collection of essays, poems, reflections, thoughts and notes on art that I extracted from the sum of her writings. Some of these texts are very theoretical, even very difficult but also very interesting and challenging in terms of understanding of what art is to her and the philosophical and even ''mechanical'' formulation that can be made of it. This album is also in chronological order.
The fourth album consists of her biography and her C.V.
The fifth album is a ''Goodbye'' on the part of Monique and for its understanding; you should read it in the proposed order. These four ink drawings/text were kept in a folder in the order that I am presenting them to you, I only added Monique’s photo.
Note : You will notice that some of the photos of her works are of poor quality (not many). This is because in some cases I did not have the original works and have never seen them. I only had a photo or a slide of poor quality, thus I did my best to enhance them as best as I could. I chose to include them anyway as a ‘’document’’ including the description cards.
It is with great pleasure and interest that I will read your comments reflections and questions by way of your e-mails and I will endeavour to answer each one if you ask me to do so. (firstname.lastname@example.org)