In the early 1960s, Jean-Paul Mousseau entered a new phase in his art practice. A strong believer in the democratization of art, he gravitated toward practical applications of art in the fields of architecture, interior decoration, and object design. Embarking upon an in-depth exploration of new materials, with a focus on the properties of light and colour, he enrolled in a course called Color and Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then began to work with translucent fibreglass, which he infused with coloured plastic resins. He used the technique to create a series of luminous sculptural objects, described by Guy Viau as “not only useful objects, but true light sculptures in space” (Ellenwood, Egregore: A History of the Montréal Automatist Movement, Toronto, Exile Editions, 1992). A contemporary revisiting of the traditional art of stained glass, these innovative works blur the distinction between the fine and applied arts and exemplify Mousseau’s conviction that art should advance hand in hand with science and technology.
In 1960, Mousseau was awarded first prize in industrial design at the annual arts competition of the province of Quebec for one of his sculptural lamps. Similar works by Mousseau are held in the permanent collections of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Musée de la civilisation de Québec.