Death of Louise Renaud, signatory of Refus global

Signatory of the Refus global manifesto in 1948, lighting designer and painter Louise Renaud died on Monday in her home in Berkeley, United States, at the age of 98.

Artist who was part of the Automatistes group, with Paul-Émile Borduas, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Françoise Sullivan and Marcel Barbeau. Louise Renaud had studied fine arts in Montreal in 1939 with her good friend Françoise Sullivan. In the Drawing section, “reserved for women”!

In May 1943, they had exhibited with around twenty other young artists (notably Charles Daudelin and Fernand Leduc) during the Les Sagittaires event organized at the Dominion gallery by Professor Maurice Gagnon, a landmark exhibition of the Automatist movement. The art critic Maurice Huot noted, in Le Canada, that his drawings had “a beautiful appearance, in particular a woman’s head full of vigor”.

But instead of becoming the pupil of the French painter Fernand Léger in New York, as she had wished, she took courses in lighting and scenography there in the 1940s. She also worked there as governess of the children of Pierre Matisse, the son of the painter Henri Matisse, who had an art gallery. Louise Renaud then returned to Quebec but returned to live in the United States. In 1949, she married Francis Kloeppel, editor at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Louise Renaud was reputed to be a good animator during her meetings with artists. From New York, she kept her Automatist friends up to date with what was happening on the cultural scene. She was certainly the one who, among the signatories of Refus global, knew the most about modern New York art at the time.

“I met Louise Renaud in Montreal in the 2000s,” says Christian Gosselin, general and artistic director at the Center international d’art contemporain de Montréal. We had spoken of Marcel Duchamp with whom she had eaten in New York. I remember it as an alert, simple, generous, smiling and sympathetic person. She helped all the Automatists who came through New York. ”

Louise Renaud is survived by her daughter, Barbara, her sister, the choreographer Jeanne Renaud, and many friends. His writer sister Thérèse Renaud, died in 2005.

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