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 Richard (Joseph Samuel) Lacroix  (1939 - )

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Lived/Active: Quebec / Canada      Known for: painting, kinetic sculpture, printmaking, teaching

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Ad Code: 3
Richard Lacroix
La Feuillee
30.5” X 29.5” Collograph, signed and dated 1963. Collection of Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal

Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Richard Lacroix (1939)

Richard Lacroix (AKA: Joseph Samuel Richard Lacroix) is an important Canadian printmaker, painter, sculptor (1) and educator.  His mediums are serigraph*, collograph*, lithograph*, aquatint*, etching*, stencil*, mixed mediums and acrylic* on canvas.  As an abstractionist his primary subjects are shape, color and texture.  His styles are Geometric Abstraction*, Abstract Expressionism* and Surrealism*.  Among his many awards are Canada Council Grants in 1961 and 1966.  Hundreds of his works are in Canadian museums.  Attached below is a biography courtesy of La Guilde Graphique, a list of his exhibitions, and a list of museums that collect his work. (2)

Richard Lacroix was born in Montreal on July 14th 1939.  He graduated in 1959 from the Institute of Graphic Arts [Montreal], where he studied the different printmaking techniques with Albert Dumouchel [see AskART], painter, printmaker and renowned teacher.  Lacroix also studied at the Montreal School of Fine Arts before becoming himself a professor of printmaking in 1960.  From 1961 to 1963, he trained in several printmaking shops in Europe, notably at Stanley William Hayter’s [see AskART] well renowned Atelier 17* in Paris. (3)

Mr. Lacroix founded the first printmaking studio of its kind in Canada, l'Atelier Libre de Recherches Graphiques, in 1963.  He was also co-founder of Fusion des Arts*, a group whose main objective was to establish a new relationship between the arts and the public.  This idea led him to found La Guilde Graphique, which publishes, distributes and exhibits the work of contemporary artists.  In 1969, a decisive encounter was made with Zen master Rosh Taisen Deshimaru, who taught him the practice of Zen and the Spirit of gesture in martial arts and calligraphy*.

For the past 40 years, Richard Lacroix has been interested in the exploration and fusion of various painting and printmaking techniques, developing along his own original medium.  It is this new technique that allowed him greater spontaneity and freedom in the exploration of form and color.  What eventually came out was a distinct personal imagery “nor figurative nor abstract”, evoking the earth, abstract landscapes, fauna and flora, glaciers and craters, “always listening to that dim light demanding its shape from naught”.  His approach to printmaking is, in spirit, close to calligraphy: the spirit of gesture.

A prolific creator in varied disciplines, his work has been shown in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia and is part of numerous public and private collections.  (Source: La Guilde Graphique –

The list of major public venues for his group exhibitions includes the “Paris Biennial” (1961); “The International Biennial of Engraving”, Yugoslavia (1963, 1965); “Primera Biennial Americana de Grabado”, Santiago, Chile (1964); “Triennial International of Engraving”, Grenchen, Switzerland (1964, 1967); “International Biennial of Engraving”, Lugano, Switzerland (1964); “International Biennial of Engraving”, Cracow, Poland (1966); “Three Hundred Years of Canadian Art”, National Gallery of Canada (1967); "Panorama of Painting in Quebec: 1940 – 1966", Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (1967); “Retrospective of Quebec Painting”, Montreal Museum of  Contemporary Art, Montreal (1967); “Plastics”, Art Gallery of Ontario (1967); “Seventh Biennial of Canadian Painting”, National Gallery of Canada (1968); "Three Generations of Quebec Painting", Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (1976); “Automatism and Surrealism in Québécois Printmaking”, Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (1976); “20 Years of Collecting”, Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (1985); “Art and Society – 1960 to 1970”, Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (1999); and “Animagery”, Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (2002).

He also exhibited in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts spring exhibitions from 1960 to 1964 and with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts* in 1963.

The public venues for his solo exhibitions include Canada House, Paris, France (1962) and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1964). Exhibition sources: A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald; The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see AskART book references); and the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art. (4)

According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network* and individual museum websites, there are Richard Lacroix  works in the permanent collections of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston, Ontario), Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (B.C.), Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Confederation Centre Art Gallery & Museum (Charlottetown, P.E.I.), Joliette Art Museum (Quebec), La Pulperie (Chicoutimi, Quebec), Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery (Concordia University, Montreal), Mackenzie Art Gallery (Regina, Saskatchewan), Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (Quebec), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec), Museum London (Ontario), Owens Art Gallery (Sackville, N.B.), Quebec Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec City),  Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, Ontario), Sherbrooke Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec), Vancouver Art Gallery (B.C.), Winnipeg Art Gallery (Manitoba), National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa) and the Victoria & Albert Museum (London, England). Primary source: Canadian Heritage Information Network. (5)


(1) Though best known as a printmaker, Lacroix created some well known public space Constructivist* kinetic* sculptures in the 1960s.  Their locations were “Expo 67”, Montreal and the Montreal International Airport.  Source: A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald (see AskART book references).

(2) Sources:  Museum illustrations and descriptions of mediums in the Canadian Heritage Information Network* data base; A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald; and The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see AskART book references).

(3) The Atelier Desjobert was one of the other places he studied in Paris.  Source: The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see AskART book references).

(4) Between 1965 and 2010, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, which posts its catalogue exhibition summaries online, included Lacroix’s works in 25 major themed exhibitions.

(5) Who's Who in American Art – 15th Edition (1982), published by Jacques Cattell Press includes the Museum of Modern Art, New York as a collector of Lacroix’s works; our list only includes museums that could be independently verified on the museum’s website or through the Canadian Heritage Information Network* data base.

Additional sources:
– Owens Art Gallery – (collection online).
– Victoria & Albert Museum – (collection online).
Art Gallery of Ontario – The Canadian Collection (1970), by Helen Pepall Bradfield (see AskART book references).
Three Hundred Years of Canadian Art (1967), by R.H. Hubbard and J.R. Ostiguy (see AskART book references).

Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary



** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
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