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Item Name: Print
Title: Le peril jaune
Maker: Michel Fortier
Year: 1966
Country: Canadian
Materials: serigraph
Measurements: in frame: 67 cm x 70 cm; work: 41 cm x 41 cm
ID Number: ART 053
Legal Status: ART RENTAL

Extended Label Info: Michel Fortier was a painter and printmaker active in the French Pop Art scene in Quebec during the 1960s - 70s. He is known for his vibrant and politically charged prints and posters, often using humour to reflect on social issues and the labour movement. This artwork, entitled “Le peril jaune” is a silkscreen print with abstract shapes in yellow ink surrounded by a bold orange background. The title of this work, when translated to English is “The yellow peril”, which originated as a racist term historically used to refer to people of East Asia. When Fortier created this print in 1966, it was a time of social revolution. At that time, some Asian Americans were attempting to reclaim this phrase, as demonstrated in the protest slogan, “Yellow Peril supports Black Power”. It is unknown whether Fortier designed and named this artwork in a similar spirit of social revolution or if he used the phrase as a type of word play, but the usage of this phrase does highlight some of Canada’s colonialist histories. For further context and to learn more about how cultural institutions are addressing problematic content in collections, please email dunlop@reginalibrary.ca for reference material. Michel Fortier (1943-2019) was born in Montreal, Quebec. He studied at College Andre-Grasset, and the Montreal School of Fine Arts. In 1966, after working with Richard Lacroix at Atelier Libre, Fortier and his colleague Ronald Perreault opened the first exclusively silkscreen printing studio in Quebec. Silkscreen posters by Fortier and his colleagues were a foundational part of the French Pop Art movement in Quebec. Fortier’s work is held in public and private collections including the National Gallery of Canada, and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.