Jacques Hurtubise was born in Montreal in 1939 and died in 2014 on the island of Cap Breton, Nova Scotia.
He graduated in 1960 from the École des beaux-arts de Montréal and received the prestigious Max Beckman scholarship to study in New York (1960-61).
A key figure in Canadian abstraction, Hurtubise was central in the post-Riopelle developments in Quebec, along with his contemporaries Yves Gaucher, Guido Molinari, Claude Tousignant and others. Developed over the past fifty years, his body of work has pushed the definition of “hard edge” abstraction through the use of painterly brushstrokes and a printmaker’s sensitivity for repeated, controlled pattern creating a language of his own. Working through notions of colour and form, Hurtubise’s paintings are often large in scale, forcing the artist to expend an energy to move his brush around the canvas. Ultimately these paintings are about gesture and mark-making and his strategies to maintain spontaneity.
He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Grand Prix de Peinture, Concours Artistique du Québec (1965), the Prix Victor-Martyn-Lynch Staunton from the Canada Council of the Arts (1993), and the Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas du Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec (2000). He has been exhibiting regularly since 1961 in both solo and group exhibitions across Canada and internationally in the United States, England, Belgium, France, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany.