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Robert Marchessault

This tireless exploration of a single subject paradoxically reveals Marchessault’s versatility; the tree—stripped of its literal associations and inscribed with its complex symbolic history—becomes a “vehicle” for interpretation, and a space for personal, political, environmental, and imaginative projects.

Robert Marchessault

From: Montreal

Artist Statement

My paintings are an active response to a sense of wonder at being in the world. They do not address any specific art discourse or theory. Using a simple landscape format provides a surface on which I try to express and/or reflect on my mind-state while contemplating experiences I have had – mostly outdoors. Since the late 1970s my works have gone through a range of stylistic treatments with a current focus on space, distance, atmosphere, light, energy and textures – presented on a two dimensional surface using paint. I compose and paint images that resonate between principle subjects and surrounding spaces.

Sometimes the sensation of momentarily loosing “myself” occurs in open places. Standing with great spaces before me may trigger a perception where boundaries are only shimmering illusions and a holistic presence is pervasive.

I see trees, plants and bushes as tracing energetic linkages between earth and sky.
The tree breathes what we exhale. When we exhale, the tree breathes. So. We have a common destiny with the tree. We are all from the earth. (Floyd Red Crow)
My landscape paintings are composed from memories of an experience. I use memory as a filtering agent to distil an image for a painting, discarding useless details. I do occasional on-site drawings or photographs which pile up in my studio; but I do not generally refer to them much while making a painting.. When a painting is complete it must reflect an emotional sensation that calls to mind some aspect of my remembered perceptions.

The Navajo Prayer expresses my gratefulness at being alive in this world and crystallizes my own emotional motivation as an artist.

In beauty I walk.
With beauty before me, I walk.
With beauty behind me, I walk.
With beauty below me, I walk.
With beauty all around me, I walk.

It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty


M.A. 1997, OISE, University of Toronto
B.F.A. 1978, Concordia University, Montreal
Visual Arts Diploma, 1975, Dawson College, Montreal


2000, Canada Council, Travel Grant
1999, Ontario Arts Council, Mid-Career Individual $5K Grant
1999, Artist in residence – Joshua Tree Ntl. Park, CA
1997, Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance Grant
1995. Ontario Arts Council $5000 Visual Arts Grant
1995, Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance Grant
1994, Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance Grant
1993, Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance Grant
1993, Swedish Institute, Exhibition Assistance Grant with Åsa Kedja Ardin
1992, Brucebo Foundation, Sweden, Exhibition Funding
1990, Canadian Scandinavian Foundation, Brucebo Scholarship
1981, 87, 90, Ontario Arts Council, Materials Assistance Grants
1978, Elizabeth T. Greenshields, Painting Grant

Collection & Exhibits

Bank of Montreal
BCE Inc.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Deloitte LLP
Dentons Canada LLP
Ernst & Young LLP
Esso Resources Canada Ltd.
Frankin Templeton Investments Canada
Hudson’s Bay Company
Imperial Oil Limited
Invesco Canada Ltd.
Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
Minto Group Inc.
Nissan Canada Inc.
Postmedia Network Inc.
RBC Dominion Securities Inc.
Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada
The Canada Life Assurance Company
The Granite Club, Toronto
The Royal Bank of Canada
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc.
TransAlta Corporation
Xerox Canada Ltd.
Other Collections:

McGill University
Canada Council, Art Bank
Hart House, University of Toronto
University of Montreal
CBC Toronto
Mclaren Art Centre, Barrie, ON
The Irving Collection, Halifax
Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie, ON
Child Development Institute
School of Design & Visual Arts, Georgian College, Canada
Frazer Miller Casgrai
Lannick Associates
Logix Solutions
The Financial Post
Princess Margaret Hospital
McLean Hunter
Dentons Canada LLP
Morgan Bay Capital Toronto
London Drugs
B&R Club of Toronto
Deloite Haskins & Sels
Fraser, Milner, Casgrain – Ottawa
Big Street Films – Los Angeles
Great Circle Solar Management – Toronto
Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery
Superior Propane
Hewlett Packard
Brucebo Foundation, Sweden
Dept. of Foreign Affairs
Bell Canada
Whistler Resorts
Barometer Capital Management
Random Access Multimedia
Trimark Funds Inc.
Random Access Multimedia – Toronto
KSSS Holdings, Vancouver
Ascona Management Inc.
Esso Resources
Sun Life
Lee Co.
Canada Packers
Granit Club, Toronto
Ontario Medical Association
General Electric, Canada
MDS Laboratories
Dean Witter, New York
Ward Beck
Hotel Inter-Continental
Marathon Realty Co. Ltd.
Attoney General, WA State
20th Century Fox
Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery
Templeton Management
Gerling Global Life Ins. Co.
Windrush Corp.
LYV Steel, Cleveland
Canada Life Assurance Co.
Catalysis Group
Adalstein Brown
TRCF Productions
Lee, Bukrhart & Liu Architects, Santa Monica, CA
Big Firm II Productions Ltd
The Summit Maritime Corporation of Montreal
RBC Financial Group
Integrated Captial, Los Angles, CA
+ 100s of private collections

Robert Marchessault