Roland Poulin

Originally from St. Thomas, Ontario, Roland Poulin came to art later in life. At 22, while working as an assistant illustrator in an advertising firm, he accompanied his colleague to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which he had never visited. It was a revelation. He was particularly moved by Paul-Émile Borduas’ painting Black Star (L’étoile noire, 1957), and soon Poulin began to draw, paint, and to learn about the Refus global. After failing to be admitted to the École des beaux-arts de Montréal, he enrolled in the school’s night classes and was eventually integrated into its regular program. He received his diploma in 1969 and began a long teaching career that gave him enough free time to spend on his own art. He eventually turned away from painting, however, and began working in sculpture, primarily with cement and wood, and later with bronze. From 1971 to 2001, he showed regularly in Quebec and throughout North America and Europe. Poulin received many distinctions throughout his career, including the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2005, and the prix Paul-Émile Borduas from the Quebec government in 2001. He taught primarily at Laval University (Quebec City, 1973-1981) and in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Ottawa (1987-2005). He has lived and worked in Sainte-Angèle-de-Monnoir since 1986. In his abstract sculptural work, Poulin incorporates archetypal forms inspired by the writings of Carl Jung, and draws from classic themes such as life, death, love, and the sacred.