top of page

Jean-Pierre Séguin
b. 1951, Canada

For several years, Jean-Pierre Séguin works on systems of representation in portraiture and on ways producing portraits. Relationships between photographic portraits and pictorial portraits are an integral part of his work. Thus, he has used several two-dimensional strategies to disturb viewers’ perceptions, strategies that prompt them to move about and try broaching the portrait from different distances. Through his or her motion, the spectator becomes a kind of zoom lens, varying focal length to produce effects of nearness and distance.

Approaching the image to get a better look, viewers lose their grip on the identifiable reality of the photograph; reference points that normally serve to guide viewers of photography evade them here. The spectator must then fall back on a purely formal, even abstract reading. By eliminating superfluous and decorative elements of representation, Séguin strives to display the procedures that go into making a portrait. He photographs contemporary artists to pay them homage, but also because it allows him to play on the identification of the represented individual, depending on reading distance.

The photographs are taken as objectively as possible, that is, he does not try to exploit the characters’ expression or their prestige. Rather, he tries to capture the anthropometric features, which, in a sense, constitute the core of individual identification. In the last six years, he met and photographed several Canadian, American, and European artists — Guido Molinari, Michel Goulet, Chuck Close, Michael Snow, Miquel Barcelo, Raymonde April, Melvin Charney, among others — who’ve allowed him to work from their portraits. From these snapshots, he produced digital portraits so that he could modify them and generate multiple perceptions of the image. Motifs created on the computer replace the strokes of paint that usually serve to create a representation.

This way of producing, while allowing for the addition of formal elements to the image, also fosters a much closer and more abstract reading of the photographic representation. True to the principle, he builts a portrait using thousands of different puzzle pieces in order, again, to obtain multiple perceptions of the image. In this particular case, it is the build-up through superimpositions and juxtapositions that replaces the forms and colours normally used in generating a representation. He searches through piles of puzzle pieces to find those that best suit the part of the portrait that he wants to represent. This makes it possible to add relief to the image, to discover other ways of perceiving and making a portrait.

With the generous support of Canadian Buttons, Limited, Séguin also created a portrait using some three thousand custom-made buttons, work that arose from the observations of print screens. Finally, he has several projects under way that lead him to use different procedure and compose with different materials in view of discovering other ways of obtaining both a figurative and an abstract perception of the portrait on the same surface. Jean-Pierre Séguin is looking for something very concrete in the context of abstract work.



UQAM, 1972 à1975 Baccalaureat, 1977 à 1979 Maîtrise

Work : Université du Québec de 1979 à 2011


Public Collections


Collection du Musée d'Art Contemporain à Montréal

Collection Banque d'oeuvres du Conseil des Arts du Canada

Collection du Musée d’Art Contemporain des Laurentides

Collection prêt d'oeuvres d'art du Musée du Québec

Collection de la Galerie Nationale du Canada

Collection du Musée de Joliette

Collection du Musée de Rimouski

Collection de la Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec

Collection Loto-Québec

Collection de l'atelier d'estampe Sagamie

Collection de la Bibliothèque Centrale de prêt du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean

Collection Steinberg

Collection Gaz Métropolitain

Collection de la Fondation Asselin

Collection Alcan

Collection Banque nationale du Canada

Colart Collection et autres collections privées




1975   Concours d'affiches du Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal

1975   Concours de la bourse Greenshield, Université du Québec à Montréal

1979   Concours d'estampes et de dessins québécois, Centre culturel de  l'Université de Sherbrooke

1979   Biennale II du Québec, Centre Saidye Bronfman, Montréal

1988   Concours de sérigraphie du Cegep de Chicoutimi

1989   Biennale du dessin, de l'estampe et du papier du Québec



Solo Exhibitions

2015   Galerie GRAFF, Montréal

2014   OK Harris gallery, New York

2012   Galerie GRAFF, Montréal

2009   OK Harris gallery, New York

2007   OK Harris gallery, New York

2006   Gallerie Langage Plus,Alma

2004   Centre National d’Exposition,Jonquière

2001   Galerie L'oeuvre de l'autre, Chicoutimi

1999   Galerie Montréal Télégraphe, Montréal

1997   Galerie de l'Atelier d'estampe Sagamie, Alma

1995   Ateliers s'exposent, Montréal

1995   Latitude 53 Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta

1991   372 Ste-Catherine ouest, Montréal

1991   Galerie Estampe Plus, Québec

1983   Galerie Espace Virtuel, Chicoutimi

1983   Galerie Graff, Montréal

1980   Galerie Treize, Montréal

1979   Galerie UQAM, Montréal

1978   Galerie Curzi, Montréal

1978   L'Anse aux Barques, Québec

1976   Galerie Curzi, Montréal

1975   Centre Culturel, Châteauguay

1975   Galerie Laurent Tremblay, Montréal



Group Exhibitions


2015   PAPIER15,  Montréal paper art fair, GRAFF

2013   Art Toronto, international art fair, Graff galery

2013   PAPIER13, Montréal paper art fair, GRAFF

2012   Contemporary art fair of works on paper, Graff galery

2010   Collection d’œuvres d’art du Collège Édouard-Monpetit

2010   Le Paradoxe,Centre national d’exposition, Jonquière

2010   Summeryview, OK Harris, New York

2005   Faking Death, Jack Shainman gallery, New York

2001   Corridart, Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen, Montréal

1998   Bradley national print and drawing exhibition .Illinois U.S.A.

1998   Les 200 ans de la lithographie, Bibliothèque nationale du Québec

1997   Traces et mémoires,Galerie J.C.Bergeron,Ottawa

1996   Bradley national print and drawing exhibition .Illinois U.S.A.

1990   Biennale du dessin, de l'estampe et du papier de Montréal,Paris

1990   Quebec Prints, Maryland, U.S.A

1988   North American Difference Young Canadian Artists,Osaka,Japon

1988   Épreuves d'artistes, Toronto, Ontario

1979   Jeunes Contemporains, London, Ontario

1979   20 X 20 Italie/Canada, Milan, Italie

1979   Canadian Artists, Toronto

1978   Compass-Montréal, Toronto

1977   Exposition 03-23-03, Galerie Nationale, Ottawa

1977   Jeunes Contemporains, Régina, Victoria, Calgary, Kingston, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Montréal






bottom of page