Guité, Gilles

Gilles Guité was born in 1935 in the town of Bonaventure, in Gaspésie. The artist studied science and then switched to architecture in Montreal in 1955. He would spend most of his career participating in a number of ambitious architectural projects, such as the Center des Congrès de Québec, the Pavillon d Agriculture at Laval University and the Gabrielle-Roy Library. Guité left his impressive career in architecture in 1997 and began painting in 2001. The turn of the 21st century was a pivotal moment, one that would bridge his two artistic lives.

During the first 15 years of his artistic journey, he searched for his style. Like many visual artists, he sought his identity and a foundation on which to develop a pictorial practice that would define him. He would find this in the work of the French painter Jean Miotte. After discovering his career and his work, Gilles Guité will consider him as his mentor to this day. The two men come together intellectually, as Miotte also studied science, in addition to abstracting forms like Guité.

The recent pandemic has allowed Guité to reflect on his past as an architect and explore how he could link this practice to his painting. Driven by this same approach to innovation, the artist has always found it important to have a free spirit, to not get too caught up in dominant and preconceived ideas. Guité's painting is spontaneous. For him, the work comes to life in the moment of creation, at the moment of the first brushstroke. He builds his works from large gestures, superimposing areas of paint and then embellishing them with drawings.

Gilles Guité is an artist who creates the forms that circulate in his head, resulting in a daring and lively architecture which influenced the first major part of his artistic life. His works are composed of geometric shapes that intersect, overlap and are often distorted. His paintings draw on the contrast between light and dark, between fullness and emptiness, between activity and silence.