CARTIER, Jean (1924-1996)

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Born in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Jean Cartier is a Quebecois ceramicist who had a brilliant career. In 1949, he earned his diploma from the École du meuble and began to study ceramics under the master-sculptor Pierre-Aimé Normandeau. At the beginning of the 1950s, he travelled to France where he frequented the workshops of ceramicist Jean Besnard and sculptor Ary Bitter. Upon his return from France, Cartier became a professor at the École du meuble, the Institut des arts appliqués and the Canadian Handicrafts Guild in Montreal. In 1955, he won first place at the Quebec decorative arts competition. In 1959, he left for Sweden and registered for the École des arts appliqués, then visited several ceramics and glass factories in Stockholm. During this time, he created his own ceramics school and organized workshops for around 40 students, including Jordi Bonet and Claude Vermette. After half a century of working, his impressive reputation allowed him to create large-scale pieces commissioned in metropolitan Montreal. Among his numerous projects, Jean Cartier created an enormous glass and steel fountain entitled La Giboulée for Expo 67 in Montreal that is today abandoned. In collaboration with the illustrator George Juhasz, he created three murals for the Papineau metro station. Created in 1968, this piece honours the Patriots’ War of 1837-38. A few years later, he created another mural piece for the Cadillac metro station (1976).