Roger Langevin in front of his monumental sculpture of Dany Laferrière.
June 21, 2020 17h35
Three new monumental sculptures signed Langevin [PHOTOS]
RIMOUSKI — The artist Roger Langevin adds three new works to its collection of more than 90 monumental sculptures. A height of three to four meters, they pay homage to three characters larger than life: Dany Laferrière, The Bolduc, and the runner of the wood. With a 95th in the process of creation illustrating Gilles Vigneault clapping in front of the sea, the indefatigable sculptor is, according to its own calculations, the most prolific in Canada.
To create the sculpture of Dany Laferrière, he was inspired by a photo Yan Doublet appeared in
The Sun of November 9, 2019. In sixty years of career, this is the first time that Roger Langevin draws his creative impulse from a photo. “He looks rested and natural,” he observes. This is what I wanted to give as an impression. From the point of view of the composition, any form like a pyramid.”
Between figuration and abstraction
Although he is interested in figurative art, Langevin said of the abstraction. “But, nobody realizes this. My way of sculpting, this is not in the course of today that it is taught. That does things like that? There is a whole depth. Never a sculpture is not like the other. There is always a new problem that must be dealt with first on the technical level and not only on the artistic side.”
The picture of the
Sun which inspired the sculptor to represent Dany Laferrière.
Library The Sun, Yan Doublet
The difficulty encountered in the creation of his Laferrière, “it is to give it a life, a natural attitude and rested”. “On the photo, he is very serious and when he is serious, he is a man very deep.” It was important, for the artist, to translate all the admiration he feels for the quebec writer of haitian origin, but also the torment that comes from his joy of living. “He knows so much about the history of his country. It is so exciting to hear and cultivated. He carries all the suffering of a people. It has this suffering in him, while being normally happy.” Although steps are in progress, Roger Langevin is still not the place that will host this work.
The octogenarian never works on command. “Not at the age I am! On command, it would take eight months to a year and a half, with a committee before taking the decision.” He designs his sculptures and they find takers. “I’m so beautiful that one does not say!”
The Bolduc and the runner of the wood
At the beginning of the month, his sculpture of The Bolduc took the road to the native village of the character. The work illustrating Mary Rose-Anna Travers, born June 4, 1894, was erected on the site of the former museum that bore his name in Newport, Gaspésie. As to the sculpture of the runner of the wood, it will be installed in Ferme-Neuve in the Hautes-Laurentides.
The sculpture of The Bolduc took the path to Newport in the Gaspé peninsula, the native village of the character.
Photo provided by William Merchant
Roger Langevin gives birth to all of her characters with the help of his inseparable assistant, Jean-François Beaulieu, a Gaspesian by birth established in Rimouski. “It is extraordinary, praises the master. It is a former débosseleur. He wields the spatula, it has a lot of dexterity and it is very clever.”
The sculptures of Langevin in recent years are made of a material invented for him that he calls “the résilice”. It is a base resin and silica, to which are added four or five additives, including a flame retardant. “It is good for centuries! You can hit it with a sledgehammer, it is extremely solid. You don’t have mold to make. We don’t need clay. It is to be made directly to the tip with this product-on a base of wire mesh. The material was invented by a belgian designer, and chemist, a specialist in composite materials, which is called Jacques Bodart. Now, it is installed in Saint-André-de-Kamouraska. I worked for ten years with him. Jacques Bodart is a living encyclopedia in composite materials.”
“My way of sculpting, this is not in the course of today that it is taught […] there is a whole depth. Never a sculpture is not like the other. ”
The monumental sculptures of the artist, born in La Doré, in the Lac-Saint-Jean, are a little everywhere in Quebec. Rimouski, the city of his adoption, 22 in total. Others are including built in Quebec city, Baie-Comeau, quebec, the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, in Matane and Mont-Joli. Some have also taken the lead in Mexico, England and Egypt.
Holder of an advanced diploma from the École des beaux-arts de Montréal in 1963, Roger Langevin has taught fine arts for twelve years at the secondary level in Mont-Laurier, in Montreal and in France. In 1994, after a year of postdoctoral studies in Aix-en-Provence, France, he began to teach the arts at the University of Quebec at Rimouski. He retired from teaching 20 years later to devote himself full-time to his passion that is the monumental sculpture, in which he is engaged for over 60 years.
The sculpture of the runner of the wood will be installed in Ferme-Neuve in the Hautes-Laurentides.
Photo provided by Roger Langevin
By choice, Langevin has not exhibited in a gallery for 20 years. “A work of art in a public place, everyone can enjoy it. It is not only for the artists, the intellectuals or the people of my age. I work only for beauty. The beauty, it is absolute, it is divine, it is above us. I love when people tell me that it is beautiful. I am in a state of joy.”
After the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Roger Langevin has discovered a new passion: he writes songs, he does put it to music by Serge Arsenault. It may be family, since Roger is the younger brother of the late Gilbert Langevin, who is the author of many songs written for Pauline Julien, Claude Gauthier and the other artists. “My brother Gilbert was the poet, recalls Roger Langevin. Me, I was the versificateur.” Only since the beginning of the pandemic, he has written a dozen of songs. “To do a song, it’s like making a sculpture”, considers he.