Louis Archambault studied at Montreal’s École des Beaux-Arts, and was awarded the Prix du Ministre in 1939. He won the first prize for sculpture in the Concours artistiques du Québec in 1948. That same year, Archambault, Alfred Pellan, Jacques de Tonnancour and other Montreal artists were among the signatories of the manifesto Prisme d’Yeux, which advocated an aesthetic open to all artistic avenues. He also taught at the Art Association of Montreal’s School of Art and Design.
Archambault is primarily known as a sculptor—one of the greatest of his generation in Canada. In addition to carrying out major Canadian public art commissions, he created works for the International Exposition in Brussels in 1958 and for that of Montreal in 1967. Nevertheless, drawing was an integral part of his artistic approach; of the eight hundred works in the artist’s estate kept at the Museum, the majority are drawings. In those shown here, Archambault has offered playful, Surrealist interpretations of the nude: their fluid lines describe floating women’s bodies with zoomorphic-looking heads and fine, undulating tendrils in the way of hair.