ISBN 978-2-9815-1711-1…English edition
ISBN 978-2-9815-1710-4…French edition
9.5″ x 8″, 158 pages
126 of the artist’s paintings reproduced in color
Soft cover, printed 4 color process
Publication Date: May 29th, 2015
Available at select retailers in Montreal
The Musée international d’art naïf de Magog is doing a 3 month retrospective on the artist this summer, from June 17th to September 6th. The book is the catalogue for the event.
Marcel Dargis, a Québécois naïve artist, has made a very significant contribution to the patrimoine culturel of Quebec. Through his paintings, he has preserved a part of our heritage and culture. Dargis is a true ‘peintre-raconteur’. He was born in the town of Cap-de-la-Madeleine on December 26, 1928. He has lived his entire 87 years in this town, the first 28 years in the parish of Saint-Lazare, the following 6 years in the adjacent parish of Sainte-Madeleine and the remaining years in the parish of Sainte-Bernadette.
His 750 paintings provide a very unique, exceptional and realistic recollection and interpretation of Francophone life in the two parishes of Saint-Lazare and Sainte-Madeleine, as he perceived it during the first 34 years of his life, in particular the late 30s, 40s and 50s. His story is a reflection of life, a mirror in many respects, of other francophone Catholic parishes throughout Quebec during that time, especially those parishes that were located outside urban and Anglophone centers.
The book brings together an historical perspective of his art and his paintings. The content focuses on five major themes which are prevalent throughout his 750 paintings: Family life, “La vie familial”, Social life, “La vie sociale”, Religious Life, “La vie religieuse”, Tales and legends, “Les contes et légendes” and Logging scenes in la Mauricie, “Des scènes de chantier en Mauricie”.
Dargis has used his talent as an artist to tell his story, to engage with the past. It’s all about his connection to this place, what it has meant to him, how he has seen it, and how he has interpreted it. His art has combined elements of time, space, community, and memory. The time is the 30s, 40s and 50s, the space is his parish of Saint-Lazare, the community is the people living there, mostly French Canadian Catholics, and the memory is his, as he remembers. His paintings are a snapshot of a point in time, a window which provides us with an opportunity to view and understand life in a Francophone parish during this period.