Marcel Barbeau became a student of Paul-Émile Borduas at the École du Meuble in 1942. He shared Borduas’s interest in Automatism and Surrealism and espoused the importance of emotion and nature in his work. By the end of 1945, however, Barbeau was producing all-over paintings, eliminating references to the material world, which resulted in a rift with Borduas. From 1958-1974 Barbeau lived outside of Quebec, in France, Vancouver and the United States. His work became very gestural and emotional: he would fling paint, often throwing it beyond the edge of the canvas, emphasizing the continuation of the work beyond the frame. In 1972, Barbeau began a series of collaborations with Gabriel Gascon that combined painting with music and dance in the environment of the theatre. “Kitchenumbi” was the first of several performances during which Barbeau would create the stage sets as part of the event. Oeuvre de la serie Kitchenumbi: no. 1 was created prior to the first performance, in case Barbeau found himself unable to paint in front of the audience, a fear that proved unwarranted.