Henriette Fauteux-Masse

Sans titre
Oil on canvas board, ca. 1960
Signed and inscribed “367 Carré, St. Louis, MTL” verso.
61 x 45.7 cm, x 24 x 18 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-Massé, photographer Antoine Desilets for La Presse 1963.