Born in Montreal's Rosemont neighborhood in 1945, Marc Poissant grew up in Hawksbury in an environment where art and culture do not weigh heavily. It is his father who reveals the vast domain to the young boy and inculcates to him the passion. This gentleman, who was born in London, was a factory inspector, but at home he readily spoke about literature, music or painting, expressing a special affection for Van Gogh and Gauguin.
Fascinated by all these revelations, Marc claims at the age of ten brushes and colors. He had, like other comrades, scribbled sketches or scenes of adventure in his notebooks, but what he discovered, through his own learning of technique and the exaltation of his young sensibility, Is the infinite play of shadows and lights, from such a morning of Easter where he has the vision.
In 1975 Marc Poissant is thirty years old, and decides to live now for and through his painting. He began by exhibiting post-impressionist inspiration landscapes made in dry pastels in the Old Montreal, which amateurs or tourists buy. He also presents still lifes, characters, compositions that testify to his research in the studio and inspired by various aesthetic, figurative or abstract currents.
Having become father of two children, he has acquired a maturity largely nourished by Oriental thought, which allows time to make its way. He lives his art independently from school or coterie, assuming the complexities and contradictions of his situation, and serenely pursues his quest both technically and aesthetically, culturally and spiritually. Always fascinated by light, he works to translate and celebrate it through various pigments and processes, watercolor and pastel, oil and acrylic, soon debouching on large surfaces where spatula spreads a generous paste.
From 1980, he began to exhibit in art galleries, without being influenced by the contingencies of the market or the fluctuations of fashion. His independent mind keeps him firmly oriented towards the translation of his own way of seeing and understanding the world and life, far beyond the subjects treated and the means borrowed.
Having never wanted to play the romantic bohemian, the cursed artist, nor the subsidized parasite, Poissant pursues on the white canvas the inexhaustible projection of his visions, according to the intuition and inspiration of the moment, reconstructing space, Rearranging shapes and colors, reorchestering shadows and lights.
Many of his works are related to the genre "landscape", but they are landscapes "states of soul" and not topographical descriptions, they are architectures of spaces invented in the course of a patient and deep meditation, and Impregnated with a sacred meaning which remains the guiding thread of his approach.
Beyond the subject there is emotion, beyond appearances there is substance, beyond the colors there is light, beyond the light there is thought, and beyond of thought there is the mystery, whose universal symbolism reveals some reflections, subtle and shimmering facets.
It seems that this is what Marc Poissant is aiming for when he paints, and he particularly approached it in his great "landscapes" of a few years ago, constructed in horizontal strata where the colors modulated their harmonies without reference to the narrative elements of the genus, such as trees or houses, vegetation or rock, land or water; No longer using the effects of perspective or even shadows and lights. These pictures secrete their own light, gently but firmly, with serenity and voluptuousness, in the murmur of their palette. One might think, by examining them, of the great works of Mark Rothko or of certain works by Clyfford Still (whose bias is rather vertical), but Poissant demonstrates its originality, rooted in Nature, of which it is a place of Meditation and celebration, without seeking to practice some stylistic grid identifiable by its degree of mannerism, as in the two American artists that have just been evoked.
Indeed, one could point out in Poissant a plastic relationship fed to a completely different source, that of Oriental art. Above, we have already noted his interest in Oriental thought and spirituality, and his painting often seems to be inspired directly by the seven characters of Zen aesthetics enumerated by Hisamatsu in his masterly work Zen and the Fine Arts: Asymmetry , Simplicity, austerity, authenticity, discretion, independence, serenity.
According to these seven characters, we see that the pictures of Poissant are never constructed according to principles of symmetry; That they do not resort to any complicated or pretentious formula, either in design or in technique; That they employ no artifice of seduction, without, however, shedding austere austerity; That their depiction simply reflects the artist's profound relationship to nature and its mysteries in all sincerity; That in his work as well as in his career and private life he is very discreet, and of so great independence of mind, far from all current, fashionable or not, and so far from seeking to impose anything; And finally that serenity, patiently acquired through long and tortuous researches, and maintained with infinite attention and devotion, resolutely dismisses distractions and other solicitations to leave room for meditation and contemplation.
Another kinship to emphasize, after these seven characters: Poissant does not date his works and seems to share a certain oriental attitude which prefers to settle in the course of time and to be carried, rather than to persist in wanting to subdue the time, measuring or fixing, cutting and coining, as westerners are too inclined to do.
Not only does Poissant not date his paintings, but he does not title them either, which contributes to detach them from the contingencies, to envelop them in their own universe, woven and kneaded with colors that inhabit the subtle and inexhaustible drive of the light. And in front of the white canvas, which the artist sees as a place of encounter or accomplishment, and not as a challenge or an anguishing trap, the gradual blossoming of the new painting begins, from one gesture to another, In an exploration which is discovered as it is made, without prejudice or straitjacket.
The forms are thus born of forms, the colors are assembled and adjusted, the lines occasionally reveal profiles here of trees or there of characters or flowers, but without insisting and always retaining priority to quality of the painting - open both in the course of the artist's approach and in the eyes of the amateurs who slip into it to discover a generous source of delight and inspiration.
Attentive to his gestures and at the same time welcoming fortuitous discoveries, the painter pursues his path, both evolution and quest, as in a vast spiral where sometimes occurs the serendipity once proposed by Walpole to translate the grace to discover by happiness What we do not seek. This brings back to the availability of the artist, launched on a path of which he does not know clearly neither the meanders nor the destination.
More recently, Marc Poissant brushes, or rather "spatul" what he calls "dream landscapes", where he leaves subconscious and imagination to the controls. Never losing sight of the central and substantial importance of light, he lets himself go, happy to paint and live, hoping that his works will also make others happy.
No pretension of dogmatism or of a message in him, but only a delicate sensibility, devoted entirely to that which flourishes and translates it best, in the purity and independence of such an indomitable autodidact: his pictures.