PIPON, Réjean (1933-2012)

Réjean Pipon studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal in the 1950s. After initially earning a living by building, moulding and repairing décor for public spaces and private residences, he devoted himself to sculpture upon moving back to his hometown of Anse-au-Griffon in Gaspésie. His work comprises both miniature and large-scale pieces, from small low reliefs depicting traditional peasant fishermen to an imaginary bestiary of free-standing sculptures; these include giant fish and insects with which he also decorated the outer walls of his own home. Pipon’s colourful driftwood pieces, which might cautiously be likened to the work of gosseux (a kind of non-professional whittler), reflect his mastery of the medium. He also created life-sized figures and religious pieces: some of his work may be found upon the church gable and at the entrance to the cemetery in Cap-aux-Os in Gaspésie. In 1983, he was the subject of a book by Michelle Harvey entitled Réjean Pipon, Sculpteur (Société historique, Édition de la Gaspésie). In the spring of 2014, the Centre culturel Le Griffon and Café de l’Anse organized a retrospective of his work.