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October 7

Exhibition at the Grande Bibliothèque: Fleuve – René Derouin, 50 Years of Art and the Essence of the Americas

Montréal, October 7, 2013 – René Derouin, multidisciplinary artist with a rebel streak, travelled the territories of the Americas, North to South, in search of his roots. In an attempt to retrace the unusual journey that took him from Québec's Great North to Mexico, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) presents the exhibition Fleuve – René Derouin in the main exhibition hall of the Grande Bibliothèque. The artist himself assumed the role of curator for this exhibition.

Photo of three people standing in front of René Derouin's work of art.

From left to right: Maka Kotto, Minister of Culture and Communications; René Derouin, artist and curator, and Dr. Guy Berthiaume, BAnQ Chair and CEO. Photo: Michel Legendre.

The opening of the exhibition will take place tonight at the Grande Bibliothèque. Maka Kotto, Minister of Culture and Communications, and Dr. Guy Berthiaume, BAnQ Chair and Chief Executive Officer will be in attendance.

"America's reality as explored by the penetrating eyes of a man over the course of his journey on the continent and, undoubtedly, over the course of his inner journey, materializes from René Derouin's body of work. This exhibition is a testament to the founding themes favoured by this great multidisciplinary artist whose contribution to visual arts in Québec is notably expressed through engraving, painting, and sculpture," declared Maka Kotto.

"This tribute to René Derouin, one of our great visual artists, reminds us that prints, artists' books and exhibition catalogues are an integral part of BAnQ's conservation mandate. We are the holders of the most complete Québec collection of prints, with over 25,000 works," added Dr. Berthiaume.

Distinguished artist and winner of the Paul-Émile-Borduas prize in 1999, recipient of the Mexican Order of the Aguila Azteca in 2006 and the Ordre national du Québec in 2008, Derouin's major works have earned him national and international recognition. Fleuve explores the main themes—identity, memory and territory—that have inspired and guided this "continentalist" for over 50 years. Drawn from BAnQ's collections and from other great public and private collections, over 100 works are presented, including several of Derouin's better-known creations, the Nordique, Between, Équinoxe, and Chapelle / Capilla suites, as well as 60 figurines from Migrations.

Motivated by his desire to bond with the public, René Derouin will bequeath his personal archives—drawings, sketches, letters, photos and audiovisual materials—to BAnQ when the exhibition concludes.

Career architect  Anick La Bissonnière signed the stage design of Fleuve – René Derouin, creator and illustrator Laurent Pinabel the graphic design and Nicolas Descoteaux the lighting. A series of never-before-released videos from directors Catherine Hébert and Elric Robichon exposing the artist's creative process have been added.

Exhibition-related events

Over the next few months, extend your enjoyment of the discovery of Fleuve by attending  lectures, conversations, workshops and guided tours of the exhibition. Among the activities offered:

  • A lecture entitled Fleuve, largage et ensemencement by René Derouin, followed by a conversation with Gilles Lapointe, art history professor, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), October 15, 2013;
  • Guided tours of the exhibition hosted by the artist and curator, November 20, 2013, and February 19, 2014;
  • La sonorité des mots, a workshop for the whole family December 14, 2013. After taking the guided tour, children ages 9 and up are invited to participate in the creation of a collective work that will be displayed in the Jardins du précambrien of the Fondation Derouin;
  • An educational tour of the exhibition for school groups, Secondary 2 to 5, consisting of an introduction to René Derouin's visual arts language and a creation workshop;
  • Guided tours of the exhibition (a monthly event for the general public) October 22, November 5 and December 10, 2013, as well as January 21, February 25 and March 18, 2014;
  • A lecture entitled L'art des jardins et du paysage – À partir des Jardins du précambrien de la Fondation Derouin by Manon Régimbald, associate professor, art history department, UQAM, February 11, 2014;
  • A second La sonorité des mots workshop, this one March 22, 2014 and intended for adults as part of the Francofête.

For more information on these activities, go online to banq.qc.ca.

Discover an outstanding collection of prints

Gathered together since the extension of the legal deposit's scope in 1992, BAnQ's print collection is the most important and complete body of Québec prints in existence. It currently holds over 25,000 prints by more than 1,500 artists. Several thousand prints have been digitized and are available in the Digital collection at banq.qc.ca.

BAnQ holds close to 500 prints by René Derouin. They can be viewed without an appointment at the preservation centre (Centre de conservation) located on Holt street, in Montréal. Of this number, 70 titles have been digitized and can be viewed online. The institution's collection of artists' books and bibliophile books also includes 15 albums and artist's books by Derouin. 

In brief:
Fleuve – René Derouin
Grande Bibliothèque
Main exhibition hall (level M)
Free admission, Tuesday to Thursday, from 12 noon to 9 pm
and Friday to Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm
March 23, 2014
Information: banq.qc.ca;

Watch the video

Go to the top of the page.TopAbout Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

As the largest cultural institution in Québec in terms of its attendance and diversified missions, and an essential pillar of the knowledge society, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) has the mandate to offer democratic access to culture and knowledge. To this end, it collects, preserves and highlights Québec and Québec-related documentary heritage. It also provides the services of a major public library. BAnQ encompasses the Grande Bibliothèque, a preservation centre (Centre de conservation) and ten archives centres in Montréal, Québec City, Gaspé, Gatineau, Rimouski, Rouyn-Noranda, Saguenay, Sept-Îles, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières.