Henriette Fauteux-Masse

sans titre
Oil and gesso on canvas board, ca.1957
25.4 x 13.3 cm, x 10 x 5.25 in.

Estate of the artist, Quebec.



Henriette Fauteux-Masse came to painting almost by accident: her first foray into the arts took the form of dance and performance but, at the age of 17, a friend offered her his easel, stool, and cast models. Initially interested in this equipment purely for its decorative value, she soon gave up dance and began painting seriously. Her artistic education began with three trips to New York City (1946-48), where she spoke with fellow artists and visited museums. In her early years, she was particularly interested in French painters, such as Fouquet and Poussin, and early Italian artists, like Giotto and Piero della Francesca. In 1951, Henriette Fauteux Masse was awarded a scholarship from the Quebec government and travelled to Paris, where she received her first formal training under artist Andre Lhote. However, her desire to follow her own self-teaching plan prevailed and, upon her return home, she spent five years painting by herself in an effort to refine her particular abstract style. In addition to lyrical abstracts, Henriette Fauteux Masse also became known for landscapes and portraiture (after 1970, the latter became her genre of choice). She participated in several group shows both in Canada and abroad, including The Winnipeg Show (1959), the International Painting Competition at Granby, Quebec (where she won first prize), and exhibits in Paris at the Musee d’art moderne and the Salon des femmes peintres. A founding member of the Conseil de la peinture (from 1966), she was also a member of the Non-Figurative Artists’ Association of Montreal (1957-60), and the societe des artistes professionels du Quebec (from 1968). Her work can be found in the National Gallery of the Canada and the Musee du Quebec.

Henriette Fauteux-Masse
Media used

  • Painting


  • Private study, 1951 – ? (under Andre Lhote)


  • Conseil de la peinture, 1966
  • Non-Figurative Artists’ Association of Montreal, 1957
  • Societe des artistes professionels du Quebec, 1968

File & Archive locations

  • Art Gallery of Ontario – Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
  • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – Library
  • Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal – Media Centre
  • National Gallery of Canada – Library and Archives
  • Toronto Reference Library
  • University of British Columbia – Fine Arts Library
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery – Clara Lander Library


  • “Nouvel encan au Club de Beaux-Arts.” La Presse 12 Jan. 1959.
  • Antaki, Karen. Montreal Women Artists of the 1950’s. Montreal: Concordia Art Gallery, 1988.
  • Aquin, Stephane. “L’abstraction Montreal” Voir (Montreal) 12 May 1994: 26.
  • Asselin, Hedwidge. 25 ans du Conseil: 25 ans de peinture. Montreal: Le Conseil de la peinture du Quebec, 1991.
  • Ayre, Robert. “Variety of Exhibits On View In Two Big Shows at Museum.” Star (Toronto) 31 Jan. 1959.
  • Forsey, Joan. “Quebec’s Top Women Painters ‘A Phenomenon’.” The Gazette (Montreal) 12 Mar. 1963.
  • Hakim, Mona. “Montreal, ville abstraite.” Le Devoir (Montreal) 7 May 1994: C13.
  • Hill, C.C. and P.B. Landry, eds. National Gallery Catalogue, Canadian Art. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1988.
  • Jaque, Louis. “Henriette Fauteux-Masse.” Vie des arts 21 (Christmas 1960): 48-51.
  • Lepage, Jocelyne. “Le Conseil de la peinture a 25 ans mais a-t-il des dents?” La Presse (Montreal) 26 Oct. 1991: D10.
  • Levy, Bernard. “Une poetique du present: Fauteux-Masse, l’apogee.” Vie des arts 61 (Hiver 1970-71): 56- 57.
  • MacDonald, Colin S. Dictionary of Canadian Artists. Ottawa: Canadian Paperbacks, 1967.
  • McMann, Evelyn de Rostaing. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Formerly Art Association of Montreal: Spring Exhibitions, 1880-1970. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988.
  • McMann, Evelyn de Rostaing. Royal Canadian Academy of Arts/Academie royale des arts du Canada: Exhibitions and Members 1880-1979. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981.
  • Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal. Fauteux-Masse. Montreal: Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal, 1966.
  • Musee d’art de Joliette. Ecole des femmes: 50 artistes canadiennes au musee / The School of Women: 50 Canadian Artists at the Museum. Joliette: Musee d’art de Joliette, 2003.
  • Pageot, Edith-Anne. Henriette Fauteux-Masse: L’oeuvre abstrait. St. Jerome, QC: Musee contemporain des Laurentides, 2005.
  • Pageot, Edith-Anne. “Henriette Fauteux-Masse: L’oeuvre abstrait.” Vie des arts 50 (Automne 2005): 41-44.
  • Repentigny, R. de. “Les “plasticiens” et deux femmes-peintres.” La Presse 9 Nov. 1954.
  • Robert, Guy. La peinture au Quebec depuis ses origines. Sainte-Adele, QC: Iconia, 1978.
  • Tippett, Maria. By a Lady. Toronto: Viking, 1992.
  • Trepanier, Jean. Cent peintres du Quebec. Ville LaSalle: Hurtubise HMH, 1980.

Biography courtesy of: http://cwahi.concordia.ca/sources/artists/displayArtist.php?ID_artist=201