Artexte is committed to the understanding and the advancement of the visual arts through reliable information sources. Its primary goal is the study and the development of material that documents the field of contemporary art.
Artexte engages in research, interpretation and dissemination activities based on its unique collection, covering the visual arts from 1965 to the present, with emphasis on the art of Québec and Canada.
Artexte endeavours to achieve the following objectives: to support the experimental, innovative and critical nature of contemporary visual art; and to foster it in a multidisciplinary discourse through alliances and partnerships.
Established in 1980 by art historian Francine Périnet and artists Angela Grauerholz and Anne Ramsden, Artexte began as a bookstore specializing in Canadian and International contemporary art. The organization responded to an essential need in Quebec and Canada for up to date, accurate information on contemporary visual art. In order to realize their objective of disseminating this information, the founders opened a documentation centre in Montreal. They then created Artextes Editions, which today comprises about 20 titles. Artexte also set up a national service for the distribution of exhibition catalogues and independent publications on contemporary art. In 1997, this service was transferred to a private business specializing in the distribution of this type of document, ABC Art Books Canada. In 1993, the bookstore moved into the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Two years later Artexte let go of its bookstore operations, which were passed on to Librairie Olivieri in September 1995, under a partnership agreement respecting the initial objectives of Artexte’s mandate. The Librairie Olivieri du Musée closed its doors in 2009.
In May 1996, Artexte moved to a larger space at 460 Sainte-Catherine Street West. This move marked the beginning of a new era for the organization and its users, by positioning Artexte within the heart of a network frequented by artists and researchers of contemporary art.
In 2012, Artexte moved to new premises in Montreal’s vibrant Quartier des spectacles. Artexte now occupies a large, luminous space on the third floor of the 2-22 Building (at 2 Sainte-Catherine Street East). In addition to having a larger consultation area for research purposes than before, it opened a new exhibition space. The gallery’s programming is linked to print culture and addresses issues pertaining to visual arts documents.
For more information on the history of Artexte, view our timeline here.