Éric Devlin closed his art gallery in 2020 and has since returned to his first love with curated exhibitions at Salon b, where he officiated in the 2000s by organizing the first artistic deployments there. Last year, he paid tribute to Francine Simonin, Louis-Pierre Bougie and Kittie Bruneau, who died during the pandemic. An exhibition that had been so successful that he decided to do it again this spring with a celebration of the artists who won the Borduas prize, the most important visual arts award in Quebec.
“Since André Fournelle had won the Borduas prize last fall, that I had already exhibited his series on coal in 2010, and that I had several works by artists who won this prize in my stock or that clients wanted sell, I thought it would make a nice exhibition for this time of year when we finally start going out! says Eric Devlin.
We find ourselves in the small room of Salon b in excellent company. With a rather intense photogravure, Pierce, by Betty Goodwin. A very fine etching, Hen pheasant, by Riopelle. Another, Ni plus ni less, by Jean McEwen. A serigraph, Triangular yellow-orange, by Molinari. A sculpture by Armand Vaillancourt, an acrylic by Marcel Barbeau, a woodcut by René Derouin, two creations on paper by Irene F. Whittome, and several works by Cozic and André Fournelle.
“It gives an overview of the Borduas Prize,” says Éric Devlin. Because I find it a little ungrateful that we give the price and that afterwards, sometimes, we forget the artist. Like a bad flu, it lasts four days and then goodbye! So, the exhibition is a small tribute and allows to bring out little-known works by Charles Gagnon, John Heward, Claude Tousignant, Bill Vazan or even Denis Juneau. »
At the same time, the bookseller François Côté, specializing in rare books, particularly art books, joined the exhibition. Contrary to what one might think, these beautiful books, often old, interest many people. “Before, I sent out a paper catalog and customers wrote to me to order,” says Côté. Today is different. I put the list of books on display here last Wednesday, and already several books are gone! »
François Côté’s mini-kiosk mainly contains illustrated books. A recent book on Armand Vaillancourt, a monograph by Francine Simonin, magazines, old Latin books, old editions of novels and books with amusing titles such as Les fadas de la pétanque! With this display of books, the sculptures, the works hanging on the walls and the small lounge reserved for rest and reading, a visit to Salon b allows you to make beautiful discoveries at the heart of Quebec’s artistic memory, both literary and visual. .