Claude Tousignant was born in Montreal in 1932. Around 1955, he abandoned his gestural and Tachist style and began creating more geometric works. That same year, a handful of Montreal artists challenged the Automatist dogma by signing the Manifeste des Plasticiens. Included in this group were Fernand Toupin, Louis Belzile, Jean-Paul Jérôme, and Jauran, who were subsequently identified as the premiers Plasticiens (First Plasticiens). Meanwhile, a second, more revolutionary group of artists, named seconds Plasticiens (Second Plasticiens) formed around Guido Molinari and Claude Tousignant.
Today, Tousignant is known primarily for his round paintings. Starting in the mid-1960s, he devoted himself to the production of series such as Les Gongs, Les Transformateurs chromatiques, and Les Accélérateurs chromatiques, which feature concentric bands of sometimes saturated, sometimes fluorescent colours. In 1971, he decreased the number of bands and began painting them larger. In addition to these, Tousignant embarked on a series of diptychs, which he continued to produce until 1980. That same year, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal held an exhibition of his work devoted exclusively to his diptychs.
In Double 36, Tousignant brilliantly demonstrates how the juxtaposition of black with wine-red, of charcoal grey with moss green influences our perception of shaded hues, depending on how dark or light their surroundings are. The exterior edges of both canvases are also painted, thus transforming them into a polychromatic sculptural work.