An “action painter”, Roméo Savoie’s work is concerned with juxtaposing themes. A true mixed-media artist, Savoie experiments constantly with mark-making, using everything from earth and tar to more traditional acrylic paint in his works.
As a result, the surfaces of Savoie’s canvases are dense and highly textural. Savoie’s is an artist of constant reinvention. He could be considered a philosopher who shows his inner-most feelings and convictions by passionately and (sometimes) savagely, attacking the painting surface.
It’s not about the technique or about one way of doing something. It’s all an artistic process. Savoie is interested in exploring how an artist creates a piece of art and is constantly experimenting with materials and subject matter – and with the aesthetics of the painting itself.
Belonging to the first wave of contemporary Acadian artists, Savoie constantly questions the process of painting in his work. His mixed-media paintings are traditionally executed in thematic series, wherein he works and reworks a question or idea until he understands it – and is ready to move on.
Romeo Savoie was born in Moncton, New Brunswick in 1928. He holds a BA from College Saint-Joseph in Memramcook , a degree in Architecture from the Ecole des beaux-arts Montreal (1956) and Master’s Degree in Plastic Arts from UQAM (1988). Until 1970, Savoie worked as an architect in Montreal and New Brunswick. In 1964, he travelled to Europe and from that trip sprang the determination to become a visual artist. Savoie lived in Europe from 1970 to 1972 and painted full time, based in Aix en Provence, Cezanne country. “I left the practice of architecture like one leaves an apartment,” he says. Returning to New Brunswick, he has since then worked with huge determination. Since 1971, Savoie has had more than 30 solo exhibitions, including a retrospective at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in the spring of 2006.
Savoie’s work is held in the collections of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal, the Musée national des beaux-arts de Quebec, the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, the University of Moncton, the University of New Brunswick, The Royal Bank and the National Bank of Canada, among others. Roméo Savoie, who is also a published poet, was awarded an honourary doctorate in visual arts from the Université de Moncton in 1999. His studio is in Grand Barachois, near Shediac, New Brunswick.
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