Gilles Guité was born in 1935 in the town of Bonaventure, in Gaspésie. The artist was trained in science and then studied architecture in Montreal in 1955. He spent a major part of his life participating in a number of ambitious architectural projects, such as the Quebec City Convention Center, the Pavilion of agriculture at Laval University and the Gabrielle-Roy Library. Guité left his impressive career in architecture in 1997 and began painting in 2001, seeing the turn of the 21st century as a pivotal moment, a moment that would bridge his two artistic lives.
During the first 15 years of his career, he searched for his style. Like any visual artist, he seeks his identity and a foundation on which to build a pictorial practice that defines him. He will find this foundation in the work of the French painter Jean Miotte. After discovering his career and his work, Gilles Guité will consider him his mentor until today. The two men come together intellectually, as Miotte also studied science, in addition to practicing an abstraction of forms like Guité.
The recent pandemic allowed Guité to reflect on his past as an architect, and then see how he could link this practice to his painting. Driven by this same approach to innovation, the artist has always found the idea of having a free mind important, of not allowing oneself to be too enmeshed in dominant and preconceived ideas. Guité's painting is spontaneous. For him, the work comes to life at the moment of writing on the canvas, at the moment of the first brush stroke. He constructs his works from large gestures, superimposing large areas of paint and then embellishing them with drawings.
This is what can summarize the essence of the practice of Gilles Guité, an artist who creates in painting the shapes that circulate in his head, shapes intimately derived from a bold and lively architecture which marked the first major part of his artistic life. His works are composed of geometric shapes that intersect, overlap and are often distorted. A painting that draws on the contrasts between light and dark, between fullness and emptiness, between activity and silence.