Paul-Émile Saulnier holds a BFA and has completed a number of artist residencies in Quebec and Europe. In 1974, he became a fine arts teacher at the Cégep de Rimouski and began teaching as a visiting professor and lecturer at various universities. He received an honorary mention of the jury at the 1989 Biennale du dessin, de l’estampe et du papier du Québec and later received the 2000 Prix à la création artistique du Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. He includes bundles of newspapers tied with string as a signature motif in his work and reuses materials from past installations: blocks, spools of thread, microphones, bandsaws, cans, electric trains, faucets and other ready-made objects, most of which date back to bygone eras. Grouped together and presented in staged, low-key lighting, they construct new and somewhat murky narratives that pertain not to the objects, but to the fragile nature of memory – its tendency to omit the darker periods of history, such as times of war, violence and displacement. Saulnier’s work as a whole subtly retraces the foreboding signs from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries right up to the present, impelling viewers to revive their own memories.
« Paul-Émile Saulnier : Des installations et l’histoire » by Pascale Beaudet, ESPACE, vol. 5, n° 4, p. 36.
« Un siècle éventré (A Century Torn Open) : On the itinerancy of the work of Saulnier » by Manon Regimbald & Elizabeth Wood, ESPACE, vol. 7, n° 4, p. 42.
« Paul-Émile Saulnier : Un siècle de cendres » by Joan Rzadkiewicz, ESPACE # 29, p. 32.
« Sortie d’usine. Studio visit: Paul-Émile Saulnier » by Robert Dion, ESPACE #38, p. 26.
« Paul-Émile Saulnier : Au travail comme à la guerre » by Carl Johnson, ESPACE #48, p. 44.
« De la sculpture comme brèche : Paul-Émile Saulnier, Yves Louis-Seize, Robert Saucier » by Serge Fisette, ESPACE #63, p. 37.
« Paul-Émile Saulnier : Prendre le train » by Jacqueline Chenard, ESPACE #89, p. 47.