Mariette ROUSSEAU-VERMETTE R.C.A. (1926-2006)
A textile arts pioneer and a celebrated painter and weaver, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette is renowned for her massive tapestries of vibrant colors that act as both murals (bas-reliefs) and sculptures. Playing with the magic of volume and texture, she created magnificent, luminous tapestries charged with vertical and geometric forms. Her sculptural works incorporate unconventional materials such as optic fibers and fur held together by weft yarns. In an unceasing attempt to renew the poetic meaning of her work by incorporating methodical and avant-garde techniques, Rousseau-Vermette’s artwork transcends the common notions of traditional tapestry. In particular, the integration of optic fiber into her art pieces helped define her as an innovative and self-directed artist.
Rousseau-Vermette is also recognized for her many public artworks in Québec, across Canada, Japan, Europe and in the United States. Her stage curtains adorn such illustrious venues as the Maisonneuve Theatre at the Place des Arts, in Montréal, the National Arts Centre, in Ottawa, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington. Her keen aesthetic and the rich, chromatic shades of each composition reflect the remarkable mastery and preciseness of Rousseau-Vermette. The tapestries, each genuine and unique art pieces, transcend the traditional boundaries of decorative art and design. Hovering between a traditional art form and a radical proposition, Mariette Rousseau-Vermette`s art is timeless – contemporary art at its best and carries with it a social dimension through the accessibility of her works in public places. More than 600 tapestries were signed by Mariette Rousseau-Vermette throughout her career.
Born in 1926, in Trois-Pistoles, Québec, Rousseau-Vermette was married to ceramist Claude Vermette (1930-2006). She received her training at both the École des beaux-arts du Québec (1944-1948) and at the Oakland College of Art Sand Crafts, in California (1948-1949). She travelled extensively to Europe and Asia between 1952 and1968, allowing her to broaden and deepen her understanding of different tapestry techniques. From 1957 to 2002, she was honored several times in Québec and abroad, winning numerous awards throughout her career. Rousseau-Vermette was invited, on many occasions, to participate as: jury member, curator, member of various boards of directors and lecturer. She has exhibited in Canada, in the United States, in several European countries, and in Japan. Her tapestries are held in many major public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, the Chicago Art Institute, the Museum of Modern Art, in Kyoto, the National Gallery of Canada, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, and the Contemporary Art Museum of Montréal. She was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and an Officer of the Order of Canada.