Biography

Marcelle Ferron (born January 29th, 1924, in Louiseville, died November 18th, 2001 in Montreal) was an innovative Québécoise artist whose public stained-glass installations can still be found around Montreal. In 1985, she was made a Knight of the National Order of Québec and was made a Grand Officer in 2000. In 1961 she was awarded the Silver Medal at the Sao Paolo Biennial.

Ferron studied at the École du Meuble in Montreal and later the École des Beaux-Arts in Québec City. She played a significant role in the avant-garde Automatiste are movement in Québec. Like her contemporaries Jean-Paul Riopelle and Paul-Émile Borduas, Ferron’s early work was non-figurative, vibrant and intense; the paint oftentimes applied straight from the tube and with a palette knife instead of a brush. Later Ferron moved to Paris, where her work was exhibited in many avant-garde exhibitions.

Later in her career, Ferron began experimenting with stained glass, using light as one of her materials. Her masterwork was installed in Montreal’s Champ-De-Mars metro station in 1968, commissioned by mayor Jean Drapeau. The piece is 60 meters long and encompasses three walls of the station, bathing it in green, blue and red light.

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