According to his family, the ceramist died suddenly.
He was 77 years old.
Giant of the artistic scene in Acadia
During his more than 50-year career, Léopold Foulem’s works have been exhibited in museums around the world. The avant-garde ceramist became a member of the Order of Canada in 2019.
The President of the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick, Alexandre Cédric Doucet, paid tribute to a leading figure in conceptual ceramics and thanked the artist for his contribution to the development and promotion of Acadie worldwide.
Filmmaker Renée Blanchar, who directed a documentary titled Lettre d’amour à Léopold L. Foulem, said in an interview Saturday night that the ceramist is a immense artist and a giant of art in Acadia.
Renée Blanchar does not hide her delight at the idea of presenting this documentary, on which she has been working for seven years, and which celebrates the creativity of Léopold Foulem, whom she considers a source of inspiration.
Photo: Facebook/Renee Blanchar
He had an extraordinary career while always maintaining a connection with Caraquet. […]where he had his workshop. He has come every summer for the past 50 years to create a masterful work, she said.
She described him as an emancipated and sharp artist, both in his work and in his own artistic criticism.
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Ceramics, it is difficult to understand that it can be art, explained Léopold Foulem in 2016 at the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec (new window). The way to do this, said the artist, was to turn the object into an abstraction and deny its function.
It is an art that is very simple, minimal […], conceptually, he explained. There is a lot of art that tells stories. The cold, the heat, the toothache. But I don’t care.
Filmmaker Renée Blanchard poses with artist Léopold L. Foulem.
Photo courtesy of Julie D’Amour-Léger
Filmmaker Renée Blanchar on Saturday described the impression Léopold Foulem made on her during her childhood in Caraquet. To her, he was an adult like no other who brought the miraculous.
Imagine someone walking like that in Caraquet, a cross between Elton John and Michel Tremblay, in the 1970s. He had elephant legs, he wore voluminous glasses, he wore striped sweaters, she said. Openly gay, married. You see the journey it was getting like this in a small town in the 1970s.
There has to be people like Leopold walking through our lives for our lives to change and be a little bigger than just a small life, she says again.
I’m both very sad for losing a friend and childhood reference, but at the same time I’m kinda […] relieved that he left so brutally or abruptly because Léopold would not have supported being weakened, especially intellectually, Renée Blanchar concludes.
With information from Frédéric Cammarano