Jean Brillant is part of a new generation of Quebec sculptors, quite distinct from the first modern sculptors whose work first developed within the fertile climate of Montreal in the 50s. This earlier generation, characterized by Armand Vaillancourt and Robert Roussil, was strongly influenced by Paul-Emile Bourduas Automatiste movement.
Jean Brilliants generation, in contrast, is seeking to discover interiority to their art through a highly personal search, an ongoing creative experimentation. Their approach is conscious, eclectic and stand outside any specific tradition in art history. This development is vigorous, youthful one, suggesting new areas of growth, which in Brillants art is part of a search for inherent meaning.
The stone-fundamental- appears like an expansible material in which a strong hairy heart dwells, from which the steel springs forth, stretching its often wispy filaments into the open space. These materials together trace forms which evoke life first of all, life and its constant change.
The artist has been exploring the proximity of two high-density substances for a long time: today, he provides simple evocations of the force residing in the utmost depths of nature, both outside and inside, with the raw materials and its alloys. He is showing us these movements of energy which are felt as basic-gyration, flowing, contraction, expansion. He is playing with physical laws governing us- accentuating them or doing away with them. Or he makes the space vibrate gleefully, the space which up to now has been kept invisible.