The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is thrilled to present the first museum retrospective dedicated to COZIC, formed by the eclectic Québécois duo Monic Brassard and Yvon Cozic. Bringing together some hundred works dating from 1967 to today, the exhibit highlights key moments and distinctive works in the history of this significant—but not well known—figure in Québécois contemporary art.
From the generation of artists that emerged during the Quiet Revolution, COZIC actively worked to decompartmentalize the visual arts in Quebec. Moving away from modern abstract painting (automatism, Plasticien, post-Plasticien), COZIC chose to experiment with unconventional media to upset the very notion of works of art. Since the late 1960s, COZIC has made its name through its pop-influenced work and its fun, demystified approach to creation.
COZIC has managed to keep its creative drive over the years, with an outstanding ability to continually come up with new ideas. Naturally, this makes it very hard to classify! From sewing to drawing, origami, wood, vinyl and cardboard objects, with detours through performance art, installations and outdoor productions, COZIC has always married its versatility with the joy of creation.
AN experience THAT TRANSCENDS THE VISUAL
COZIC has always sought to bring art closer to “real life,” leading it to create numerous works that engage viewers in different ways. More than twenty of the featured works involve senses other than sight, encouraging guests to touch, cross, decode and even smell. These include Surface qui vous prend dans ses bras (1972) and the more recent Mot caché (2018), as well as the immersive installation Jongle-Nouilles (1969). All of COZIC’s works are multilayered, giving them a fascinating amount of depth.
THE ARTISTS BEHIND COZIC
Lovers in real life, Monic Brassard (born in Quebec in 1944) and Yvon Cozic (born in France in 1942) met at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal in the early 1960s. Their artistic partnership, known as COZIC, led them to develop a “two-headed, four-handed artist,” rejecting the myth that artistic genius can only be individual. COZIC has shown its work in more than three hundred exhibits across North America and Europe and created some thirty works of public art in Canada.
Monic Brassard and Yvon Cozic have been recognized countless times for their outstanding work. They have been named Members of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (2003) and received the prestigious Jean-Paul-Riopelle career grant (2012–2013) from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Paul-Émile-Borduas Award (2015) from the Prix du Québec and the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts (2019).