RICHARD MONTPETIT

On Thursday, April 4th, Galerie Walter Klinkhoff will be opening an exhibition and sale of works by Richard Montpetit. We invite you to purchase one of these outstanding compositions by the master.

Please note that all works are subject to prior sale.

RICHARD MONTPETIT | After the Storm, 2013 | Oil on canvas 30 x 40 in.

RICHARD MONTPETIT | After the Storm, 2013 | Oil on canvas 30 x 40 in.

Richard Montpetit was born in Montreal July 23, 1950. He began to paint when he was about 20 and presented his first solo exhibition in 1980.

Around 1985, Richard Montpetit started sketching. It was a turning point for him. He travelled enthusiastically — to France, Venice, Mexico, the West Indies, Portugal, and Morocco — and brought back paintings done in an even looser style.

After his many travels, Richard Montpetit returned to studio work. He began to do larger-scale paintings, in the style of his sketches, always seeking the gestural. This has given momentum to his exploration of abstraction, as well as of an increasingly simplified figuration. In his urban scenes he emphasizes the signs of the times, the changes in light that occur from morning to dusk and from one season to the next. In the almost total absence of light in night scenes, he captures moods from illuminated signs, well-lit shop windows, traffic lights, and also car headlights. It is a nostalgic wandering in the streets of Montreal.

Richard Montpetit has been represented in galleries since 1979. He has presented several group exhibitions and around thirty solo exhibitions, one of which was a retrospective exhibition at the Marc-Aurèle Fortin Museum in the winter of 1987. His paintings can be found in many prominent public and private collections throughout Canada.

Richard Montpetit, in his own words:

“I began painting in the late sixties. My desire to capture light led me to purify my compositions. The many fields and rows of trees to be found on the island of Laval where I grew up allowed me to explore the theme of nature in its universal aspect and above all to show light as the essential subject matter of my paintings.

In the mid-eighties I moved to Montreal and around that same time travelled to Mexico, France, Venice, Portugal, Morocco and the Antilles in search of new subject matter. The constraints of having to travel light as well as my artistic quest encouraged me to explore the language of sketching on smaller panels.

After all my travelling, I view Montreal through different eyes. Capturing moods as well as the changes in light that occur from morning to dusk, from one season to the next, I now have a preference for the city streets. In my urban scenes, contrary to my landscapes, I emphasize the anecdotal, or more specifically the signs of the times. My subject in these instances is still light, a particular light at a precise moment. But it is also Montreal as I perceive it, especially on the Plateau Mont-Royal. There are pedestrians that take the form of enigmatic figures. There are parking meters, parked cars, a truck, a bus, trees, a striped awning, traffic lights, illuminated signs, snow-covered stairs, the downward slope of a sidewalk, an amusing woman, a few pigeons and, of course, bicycles.

Those are the things I love, what I love to paint. It’s my way of commenting on my life and times. Through these urban subjects, I explore the themes of solitude, everyday existence, and the passing of time.”

About Richard Montpetit:

The world of Richard Montpetit is a rich one to encounter. The observer looking into one of his paintings is searching often to perceive the interior “milieu” of the artist and he would sometimes say…

Should I ever meet him …

To meet with Richard Montpetit is to find yourself face to face with a troubadour, a juggler of words and images doubled with a philosopher-thinker. His profoundness of look, his communicative way of smile reflects the dual force and softness, shadow and light felt in each one of his paintings.

For Richard, painting a landscape is before everything to be impregnated with the mystery, beauty and depth that is released from this sight.

To those that would find an impressionistic note to Richard Montpetit’s paintings, the artist would explain that is allied to this school only by the same quest for subtle colours and true light; others see a certain recall of the visceral strength of the expressionistic period, but before everything Montpetit is Montpetit, the Witness-artist who desires to be a channel of whatever life offers that is substantial and mystic.

The sensitiveness of the world of Richard Montpetit is to look at the environment with the eyes of the Soul… lucid and still a little hazy and dreamy.

Quotes from Richard Montpetit:

“I want to drink from the cup of Life in a way that I will be the most transparent possible so everyone could drink from my work”.

“I love the city. In its every detail, the city reflects the existential burden of human beings, their everyday lives. It has become humanity’s refuge, the epicenter of both our most fascinating achievements and our most dismal setbacks. When you think of it, at one time these two extremes found expression in the country — things were very much the same, but the setting was more romantic. Only, it’s hard to remember that now.” 1

“The solitude I paint in my pictures is not meant to show how sad it is to be alone, but rather acts as an open window, a chance to enter the subject’s universe; you know, it’s pretty difficult to capture people’s moods on the subway at rush hour. Even though it can happen. A figure, a moving scene … There is a great deal of projection when you observe someone without their knowledge; it’s a bit me, but it’s not me; it’s a bit anybody, but not really; and all this sets me dreaming. It makes me realize how pleasant and how precious it is to be alone with oneself. You can wish for more love or more money, but it is inner peace, the ability to truly hear — this sort of Eden — that I seek above all with the passing years.” 2

Copyright © Galerie Walter Klinkhoff
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1 Richard Montpetit, nouvelle / short story: Gilles Archambault, Les éditions Ciel d’images inc., 1999.
2 ibid.

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