Robert Marchessault Interview June 2020
Robert Marchessault Studio Tour
Marchessault’s past as a videographer is evident in his luminous compositions, in which intricate detail creates a visual soundtrack for serene landscapes. Marchessault earned his BFA from Concordia University, Montreal in 1978 and went on to receive his MA from the University of Toronto in 1997.
"My painting can be seen as an inquiry which ultimately seeks to reveal how painted images act as a metaphor for who or what I am. The landscape paintings, which I have been making since the mid-1970s, seek to reveal my emerging understanding of the non-duality of nature. These works have gone through a range of artistic treatments with the 1990s seeing a focus on space, light, textures, atmosphere and distance. I am intrigued with the sensation of being personally diminished when experiencing great spaces. Deserts, mountains, and vast open plains make me feel that some fundamental truth is revealed by this sense of dissolution into these spaces. My landscape paintings are made from memory, not from on-site drawings or photographs. I use memory as a filtering agent to remove nonessential visual elements. When a work is successful, it has a poetry that presents some aspect of my understanding of who I am."
Marchessault’s work is in public and corporate collections in the US, Sweden, and throughout Canada, including 20th Century Fox, Canada Council Art Bank, and the University of Montreal.