June 5, 2024

Summer Select – Featured Artist: Marcelle Ferron

Marcelle Ferron was born in Louisville, near Trois-Rivières, Québec in 1924. After studying at L’École des Beaux-Arts de Québec with Jean-Paul Lemieux, Marcelle Ferron moved to Montréal where she met Paul-Émile Borduas, who was her mentor, and immersed herself in the cultural and political happenings of the avant-garde Automatistes. In 1948 Ferron was one of the signatories of the Refus Global manifesto;  in 1953 she moved to Paris where she lived and worked until 1965. Upon her return to Montréal, Marcelle Ferron became interested in stained glass work and focused most of her attention on becoming a master glassmaker and creating major public works in the genre.

Her presence on the scene was significant, and for which she was recognized. She was the first female artist to win the prestigious Paul-Émile Borduas Prize. She won the silver medal of the Biennale of São Paulo in 1961, and in 2000 she was named a Grand Officer of the Ordre National du Québec. Ferron died in 2001.

Works by Marcelle Ferron from 1953-1965, when she lived in France, are deemed some her best works. Works on paper from her French years that are in good condition are considered rare. She was known for her energetic, bold and gestural brush strokes that set her apart from other artists of the day. Many of the best works have passages of brilliant white which Untitled, 1963 has.

Image Credit:

Untitled, 1963
Mixed media on paper
25 x 19 inches (paper)
31 x 25 inches (framed)
Signed lower right recto


National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Water Colours Drawings and Prints, 1964
Waddington and Gorce Inc. Toronto, Ontario
Masters Gallery, Calgary, Alberta
Private Collection, Calgary