The Bronfman Collection 
Virtual Gallery


CMC 1999.15.1 - 

Marcel Marois — Tapestry Artist

Québec City — Quebec

Analogie — Temps (detail), 1983-1984
high warp tapestry in wool
148 cm x 240 cm
CMC 1999.15.1 (Bronfman)
Image used with permission of the artist
CMC Archives - Box 608, F11

Marcel Marois - 
Photograph: Andrew Leyerle
Photograph: Andrew Leyerle
Marois makes major artistic statements on both a monumental and intimate scale. His integrity as an artist, long-time commitment to his medium, and social consciousness have brought him world-wide recognition and have moved Canadian tapestry to the international forefront.

Selection Committee Statement

Creating tapestry is one of the most time-consuming crafts, as each stitch is laid in by hand, each colour carefully selected to create a fabric of intricate design. Using the technique perfected in France hundreds of years ago, Marcel Marois of Quebec City honours the tradition of presenting paradoxical and challenging images.

Since 1975, Marcel Marois has created both large and small works, some taking a year to produce. The allegories that he presents are often based on images from a large collection of news photographs. In his work there appear to be many layers of images and fragments of text bounded by or flowing through geometric forms.

He photocopies, enlarges, overlays and varies the focus on the images to create designs which must be studied carefully from different distances to capture all of the content and he weaves in a border to separate the image from its surroundings. The stitches of the weft, or cross-threads, may each represent a dot of an enlarged photograph.

Through this technique, Marois deliberately contrasts the instant and ephemeral nature of taking or watching the news bite with the lengthy process and permanent nature of tapestry.

Often depicting disasters in nature such as forest fires, beached whales or struggling caribou, Marois' images demand a thoughtful response and reaction from the viewer.

Since graduating from the École des Beaux-arts de Québec in 1971, Marcel Marois has pursued parallel careers creating tapestries in his workshop, teaching weaving, painting and drawing at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi, serving on juries, attending symposia and giving workshops.

Marois has taken part in the most prestigious international tapestry exhibitions: the Lausanne Biennial, Switzerland, and the Triennial, Lodz, Poland; as well as other exhibitions in Japan, Australia, Europe and the United States. He is represented in many public and private collections and has taken part in numerous films on his art.

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