Richard-Max Tremblay. Portrait

CONTENT Essay, interview, photography and painting
DATE 2011
ISBN 9782922892536
FORMAT 21.5 x 31 cm
LANGUAGE French, English
PRICE $49.95
In bookstores

For over thirty years, Richard-Max Tremblay has created photographs and paintings focussing on the central figure of the portrait. Through an essay and an interview with the artist, author André Lamarre, privileged witness to Tremblay’s work for over twenty-five years, takes us on a journey of discovery into the creative process, artistic approach, and splendour of Tremblay’s work.  


After completing his studies at Goldsmiths College in London, Richard-Max Tremblay devoted himself to the practice of painting and photography. In 1988, he created a series of photographic portraits of Prix Paul-Émile Borduas award-winners for the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. As of the 1980s, the works of Richard-Max Tremblay became the subject of numerous solo and collective exhibitions in Canada and Europe, and certain were acquired by several major Canadian collections. Richard-Max Tremblay was awarded the Prix Louis-Comtois in 2003 in recognition of his ongoing contribution to visual arts.

André Lamarre has documented the work of Richard-Max Tremblay for twenty-five years. An art and literary critic, he holds a doctorate on the relationship between literature and the visual arts, and has published in Parachute and Spirale, among others, and composed several texts for artist catalogues. His essay Avec John Heward. Entrer dans le trait was published by Éditions Nota bene in 2010. A privileged observer, he offers us herewith a multifaceted insight into the work of Richard-Max Tremblay in an interview, essay, and chronology that guide us through its diversity. 


Photography certainly offers a different perspective; above all, it allows something that seems important to be preserved so that it doesn’t escape; it’s something one can return to, something material. Photography and painting are acts of resistance against time, but they are consequential acts that lead elsewhere, that sweep us forward. The meeting with Pierre Soulages was one of these moments whose trace I wanted to preserve. Practicing photography has made me sensitive to this aspect, and everything I have painted bears traces of photography.

Richard-Max Tremblay

[…] It is possible to follow the work of an artist by embracing each image as an apparition, as a mutation of the preceding works in terms of motif, material, and technique. The work of Richard-Max Tremblay at once gives rise to such an approach since it seems to be clearly comprised of plateaus, vaster than simple series. In each case, the theme, process, or technique repeats itself, driving the exploration through repetitions, variations, and intervals to the exhaustion of the form, finally provoking its mutation. A qualitative leap then occurs, assuring the passage to a new plateau.

André Lamarre