A few milestones in the history and evolution of painting in Canada 1900 - 1930

1900
The Art Gallery of Ontario (initially called Art Museum of Toronto) is founded in Toronto.

1907
The Canadian Art Club (1907-1915) is formed in Toronto to advance art exhibition standards and encourage expatriate Canadian artists to exhibit at home (W. E. Atkinson, Archibald Browne, Franklin Brownell, Edmund Morris, Homer Watson, Curtis Williamson).

1908
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (initially called Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Arts) is founded in Halifax.

1912
The Winnipeg Art Gallery (initially called Winnipeg Museum of Fine Arts) is founded in Winnipeg.

1914
The Studio Building, a living and working space for Group of Seven artists, opens in Toronto.

1920
The Beaver Hall Group (1920-1924) is formed by English-speaking Montreal painters, many of them women (Prude Read More
A few milestones in the history and evolution of painting in Canada 1900 - 1930

1900
The Art Gallery of Ontario (initially called Art Museum of Toronto) is founded in Toronto.

1907

The Canadian Art Club (1907-1915) is formed in Toronto to advance art exhibition standards and encourage expatriate Canadian artists to exhibit at home (W. E. Atkinson, Archibald Browne, Franklin Brownell, Edmund Morris, Homer Watson, Curtis Williamson).

1908
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (initially called Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Arts) is founded in Halifax.

1912
The Winnipeg Art Gallery (initially called Winnipeg Museum of Fine Arts) is founded in Winnipeg.

1914
The Studio Building, a living and working space for Group of Seven artists, opens in Toronto.

1920
The Beaver Hall Group (1920-1924) is formed by English-speaking Montreal painters, many of them women (Prudence Heward, Lilias Torrance Newton, Sarah Robertson). Members often exhibited with the Group of Seven.

The Group of Seven (Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. Macdonald, F. H. Varley) is officially founded and holds its first exhibition, at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.

1924
The Art Gallery of Alberta (initially called Edmonton Art Gallery) is founded in Edmonton.

1926
A Canadian Art Movement: The Story of the Group of Seven, the first book on living artists in Canada, is published.

1927
The show Exhibition of Canadian West Coast Art – Native and Modern, organized by anthropologist Marius Barbeau and curator Eric Brown, is held at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

1928
Bertram Brooker, the first Canadian Abstract Expressionist painter, produces Sounds Assembling.

1930
Lawren Harris and A. Y. Jackson travel to the Canadian Arctic to paint the stark northern landscape.

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A few milestones in the history and evolution of painting in Canada 1931-1960

1931
The Group of Seven holds its last official exhibition, at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. The influence of the Group’s style was visible in Canadian art until the late 1950s.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is founded in Vancouver.

1933
The Canadian Group of Painters is formed, succeeding the Group of Seven and including 28 artists from across Canada.

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (initially called Musée de la province de Québec) opens in Quebec City.

1938
The Eastern Group of Painters is formed by Montreal artists including Goodridge Roberts, John Lyman and Jori Smith.

The exhibition A Century of Canadian Art, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, is held at the Tate Gallery, London.

1939
The Contemporary Arts Society / Société d’art contemporain is formed in Montreal ( Read More
A few milestones in the history and evolution of painting in Canada 1931-1960

1931
The Group of Seven holds its last official exhibition, at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. The influence of the Group’s style was visible in Canadian art until the late 1950s.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is founded in Vancouver.

1933
The Canadian Group of Painters is formed, succeeding the Group of Seven and including 28 artists from across Canada.

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (initially called Musée de la province de Québec) opens in Quebec City.

1938
The Eastern Group of Painters is formed by Montreal artists including Goodridge Roberts, John Lyman and Jori Smith.

The exhibition A Century of Canadian Art, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, is held at the Tate Gallery, London.

1939
The Contemporary Arts Society / Société d’art contemporain is formed in Montreal (John Lyman, Paul-Émile Borduas, Louis Muhlstock, Goodridge Roberts, Prudence Heward, Alfred Pellan, Marcel Barbeau, Fernand Leduc, Jean-Paul Riopelle).

1941
The Kingston Conference, organized by André Biéler with the aid of National Gallery of Canada director Harry McCurry, is held to rally the Canadian art community and address issues such as the isolation of artists. The event led to the formation of the Federation of Canadian Artists / Fédération des artistes canadiens, tasked with defining the role of the artist in society.

1942
The Automatiste movement is born with an exhibition by Paul-Émile Borduas at Théâtre de l’Ermitage, in Montreal (Marcel Barbeau, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Roger Fauteux, Marcelle Ferron, Pierre Gauvreau, Fernand Leduc, Jean-Paul Mousseau, Françoise Sullivan, Claude Gauvreau, Thérèse Renaud, Françoise Riopelle, Jeanne Renaud, Madeleine Arbour, Muriel Guilbault, Maurice Perron, Bruno Cormier).

1945
The exhibition The Development of Painting in Canada, 1665-1945 / Le développement de la peinture au Canada, 1665-1945 is jointly organized and presented by the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

1946
The Automatistes hold their first group exhibition, in Montreal.

1947
The exhibition Canadian Women Artists is held at the Riverside Museum, New York, organized by the National Council of Women of Canada with the Canadian Arts Council and the National Council of Women of the United States of America.

1948
The “anti-Automatiste” group Prisme d’yeux [Prism of eyes], founded by Alfred Pellan, publishes a manifesto of the same name (Louis Archambault, Léon Bellefleur, Jean Benoit, Jacques de Tonnancour, Albert Dumouchel, Gabriel Filion, Pierre Garneau, Arthur Gladu, Lucien Morin, Mimi Parent, Jeanne Rhéaume, Goodridge Roberts, Roland Truchon, Gordon Webber).

The Automatistes publish their manifesto, titled Refus Global [Total refusal].

The Art Association of Montreal (founded in 1860) changes its name to Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In 1960, the name became officially bilingual (Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal).

1952

For its first participation in the Venice Biennale, Canada is represented by four painters: Emily Carr, David Milne, Goodridge Roberts and Alfred Pellan.

1953
The exhibition Abstracts at Home is held at Simpson’s department store in Toronto and leads to the formation of the Painters Eleven group (Jack Bush, Oscar Cahén, Hortense Gordon, Thomas Hodgson, Alexandra Luke, J.W.G. Macdonald, Ray Mead, Kazuo Nakamura, William Ronald, Harold Town, Walter Yarwood).

1955
The Plasticiens publish their manifesto in conjunction with an exhibition by four members of the group: Louis Belzile, Fernand Toupin, Jean-Paul Jérôme and Jauran (Rodolphe de Repentigny).

The first Biennial of Canadian Art is organized and circulated across the country by the National Gallery of Canada. The biennials shows, which ended in 1968, served to illustrate the evolution of contemporary Canadian painting.

1956
The Association des artistes non figuratifs de Montréal [Non-figurative artists association of Montreal] is formed, with members including Plasticiens and Automatistes, and Fernand Leduc as founding president.

The exhibition Canadian Abstract Painting is held at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, before touring extensively in the United States.

1957
Parliament creates the Canada Council for the Arts.

1959
American painter Barnett Newman leads a workshop for professional artists at Emma Lake, in northern Saskatchewan. Over the years, the University of Saskatchewan Art School brought in many influential art world figures (Jack Shadbolt, Clement Greenberg, Anthony Caro) for the summer workshop program.

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A few milestones in the history and evolution of painting in Canada 1961 - today

1961
The touring exhibition Five Painters from Regina, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, showcases the work of Ronald Bloore, Ted Godwin, Kenneth Lochhead, Arthur McKay and Douglas Morton. Based in Regina, the Prairie- and Ontario-born artists came to be known as the Regina Five.

1962
The exhibition La Peinture canadienne moderne : 25 ans de peinture au Canada français [Modern Canadian painting: 25 years of painting in French Canada] is held at the Festival of Two Worlds, in Spoleto, Italy.

1964
The exhibition Canadian Painting: 1939-1963, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, is held at the Tate Gallery, London. The artists were Goodridge Roberts, Jean-Paul Lemieux, Paul-Émile Borduas, Alfred Pellan, Jack Shadbolt, Alex Colville, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Jean McEwen, Harold Town, Ronald Bloore and Gr Read More
A few milestones in the history and evolution of painting in Canada 1961 - today

1961
The touring exhibition Five Painters from Regina, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, showcases the work of Ronald Bloore, Ted Godwin, Kenneth Lochhead, Arthur McKay and Douglas Morton. Based in Regina, the Prairie- and Ontario-born artists came to be known as the Regina Five.

1962
The exhibition La Peinture canadienne moderne : 25 ans de peinture au Canada français [Modern Canadian painting: 25 years of painting in French Canada] is held at the Festival of Two Worlds, in Spoleto, Italy.

1964
The exhibition Canadian Painting: 1939-1963, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, is held at the Tate Gallery, London. The artists were Goodridge Roberts, Jean-Paul Lemieux, Paul-Émile Borduas, Alfred Pellan, Jack Shadbolt, Alex Colville, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Jean McEwen, Harold Town, Ronald Bloore and Graham Coughtry.

The Mendel Art Gallery is founded in Saskatoon.

The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is founded in Montreal by the Quebec government at the urging of artists and collectors seeking to promote contemporary art.

1965
Two Canadian artists, Guido Molinari and Claude Tousignant, are represented in The Responsive Eye, an Op Art exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

1966
The book Painting in Canada: A History, by John Russell, is published.

The exhibition Artists of Atlantic Canada / Artistes de la côte atlantique du Canada, organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick, and sponsored by the National Gallery of Canada, tours Canadian venues.

1967
The exhibition Painting in Canada / La peinture au Canada, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, is held at the Canada Pavilion at the Montreal World’s Fair, Expo 67.

1968
CARFAC (Canadian Artists’ Representation / Le Front des artistes canadiens) is founded by artists Jack Chambers, Tony Urquhart, Kim Ondaatje, Greg Curnoe and Ron Martin, in London, Ontario, to advocate for the payment of exhibition and reproduction copyright fees.

1969
The fine arts school École des beaux-arts de Montréal is merged into Université du Québec à Montréal.

1972
The Canada Council Art Bank is created with a mandate to collect Canadian artworks and rent them for use in federal offices and public buildings. The collection is now available to the private sector and includes more than 17,000 works.

1973
The book A Concise History of Canadian Painting, by Denis Reid, is published (revised editions 1988 and 2012).

1975
The exhibition The Canadian Canvas: A Travelling Exhibition of 85 Recent Paintings / Peintres canadiens actuels : exposition itinérante de 85 œuvres récentes is organized and circulated by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. The works were selected by West Coast, Prairie, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic museum curators.

1976
The exhibition London Painting Now is held at the London Regional Art Gallery, London, Ontario.

1979
The exhibition New Abstract Art is held at the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton.

The exhibition Changing Visions: The Canadian Landscape / Apercus divers : Le paysage canadien, organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, tours across Canada.

1980
The exhibition Aspects of Canadian Painting in the Seventies is held at the Glenbow Museum, Calgary.

1981

The exhibition 20th Century Canadian Painting / Peinture canadienne du XXe siècle, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, tours in Japan (National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Museum of Modern Art Hokkaido, Sapporo; Oita Prefectural Art Centre, Oita).

1983

The exhibition O Kanada is held at Akademie der Kunste, Berlin, featuring such Canadian painters as Betty Goodwin, Jack Chambers, Goodridge Roberts, Paul-Émile Borduas, Jack Bush and Shirley Wiitasalo.

1984
The exhibition Toronto Painting is held at the Art Gallery of Ontario and tours to Rodman Hall Arts Centre, St. Catharines, Ontario; Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario; Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta; Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba; and The Gallery, Stratford, Ontario.

1985
The exhibition Présence de la peinture canadienne is held at the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris.

1987
The exhibition Contemporary Painting in Alberta is held at the Glenbow Museum, Calgary.

1988
The exhibition À propos d’une peinture des années soixante / Montreal Painting of the 1960s is held at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and tours to Canadian venues and the Americas Society Art Gallery, New York.

1992
The exhibition The Crisis of Abstraction in Canada: The 1950’s / La crise de l’abstraction, les années 1950 is organized and circulated by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

The exhibition Achieving the Modern: Canadian Abstract Painting and Design in the 1950s / L’arrivée de la modernité : la peinture abstraite et le design des années 50 au Canada is held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

1998
The exhibition Borduas et l’épopée automatiste is held at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Refus Global manifesto.

The multi-site event Peinture peinture, organized by the Association des galeries d’art contemporain, is held at galleries around Quebec and in Ottawa.

2000
The number of solo shows devoted to Canadian painters begins a decade of growth across the country.

2003
The exhibition Peinture en liberté : perspective sur les années 1990 is held at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

2012
The exhibition LIGHTS OUT! Canadian Painting from the 1960s is held at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

2013
The exhibition Les Plasticiens et les années 1950-1960 / The Plasticiens and Beyond: Montreal 1955-1970 is held at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Quebec City.

The exhibition The Painting Project / Le Projet Peinture opens at Galerie de l’UQAM.

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The city of London, Ontario, pulsed with artistic activity in the 1960s. Artists like Jack Chambers and Greg Curnoe fuelled the ferment with a regionalist approach favouring the precise representation of reality and exploration of the familiar.
The city of London, Ontario, pulsed with artistic activity in the 1960s. Artists like Jack Chambers and Greg Curnoe fuelled the ferment with a regionalist approach favouring the precise representation of reality and exploration of the familiar.

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Jack Chambers, Lombardo Avenue, 1972-1976, oil on canvas, 91.8 x 91.8 cm

Canada Council Art Bank Collection

Jack Chambers
1972 - 1976
Oil on canvas
91,8 x 91,8 cm
Canada Council Art Bank Collection
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Sky Glabush, 2011, abstraction, regionalism, Jack Chambers

Photo: Frank Piccolo, courtesy MKG127, Toronto

Sky Glabush
2011
Oil on canvas
213 x 274 cm
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Some aspects of Louis-Philippe Côté’s painting are quite similar to the work of the renowned artist Alex Colville (born in 1920). As a war painter with the Canadian army in the early 1940s, Colville developed an interest in representing contemporary experience, which he expresses in rigorously constructed compositions. His sometimes troubling images juxtapose figures and places in a dreamlike manner and seek to create a tension with elements outside the frame, so as to reveal the constructed nature of the pictorial space.
Some aspects of Louis-Philippe Côté’s painting are quite similar to the work of the renowned artist Alex Colville (born in 1920). As a war painter with the Canadian army in the early 1940s, Colville developed an interest in representing contemporary experience, which he expresses in rigorously constructed compositions. His sometimes troubling images juxtapose figures and places in a dreamlike manner and seek to create a tension with elements outside the frame, so as to reveal the constructed nature of the pictorial space.

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Alex Colville, In the Woods, 1976, acrylic polymer emulsion, 34,2 x 59,3 cm

© A.C.Fine Art Inc

Alex Colville
1976
Acrylic polymer emulsion
34,2 x 59,3 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Painting of Louis-Philippe Côté, oil on canvas, 2010-2011, appropriation, media, Alex Colville

Photo : Louis-Philippe Côté, courtesy Galerie Simon Blais, Montréal

Louis-Philippe Côté
2010 - 2011
Oil on linen canvas
265 x 330 cm
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Janet Werner’s work lends itself to comparison with that of Prudence Heward (1896-1947), an artist active mainly in Montreal between the two world wars. In an era dominated by the landscape genre, she painted numerous portraits of women. Like Werner’s paintings, they depict psychologically complex characters in troubling poses, questioning the conventional representation of the female figure.
Janet Werner’s work lends itself to comparison with that of Prudence Heward (1896-1947), an artist active mainly in Montreal between the two world wars. In an era dominated by the landscape genre, she painted numerous portraits of women. Like Werner’s paintings, they depict psychologically complex characters in troubling poses, questioning the conventional representation of the female figure.

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Prudence Heward, Rollande, 1929, oil on canvas

Photo © NGC

Prudence Heward
1929
Oil on canvas
139,9 x 101,7 cm
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Janet Werner, artist studion, oil painting, technique, collage, fashion

Photo: Guy L’Heureux, courtesy Parisian Laundry, Montreal and Birch Libralato, Toronto

Janet Werner
2010
Oil on canvas
221 x 167 cm
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Pierre Durette’s attention to detail recalls the work of the Dutch-born painter Cornelius Krieghoff (1815-1872), who settled in Canada in the early 1840s. Krieghoff peopled his landscapes with tiny figures to provide a sense of scale, which makes the scene appear larger.
Pierre Durette’s attention to detail recalls the work of the Dutch-born painter Cornelius Krieghoff (1815-1872), who settled in Canada in the early 1840s. Krieghoff peopled his landscapes with tiny figures to provide a sense of scale, which makes the scene appear larger.

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Cornelius Krieghoff, Montmorency Falls, 1853, oil on canvas

Photo MMFA, Christine Guest

Cornelius Krieghoff
1853
Oil on canvas
46,4 x 64,3 cm
Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Pierre Durette, citation, composition, 2010

Photo: David Choquette, courtesy Lacerte art contemporain, Montreal

Pierre Durette
2010
Acrylic and coloured pencil on paper
91 x 121 cm
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Some of Norma Jean MacLean’s works recall landscapes by Jean-Paul Lemieux (1904-1990), showing a similar starkness and the same use of cold tones. The landscape features are reduced to simple geometric forms in a pared-down style that conveys a sense of isolation.
Some of Norma Jean MacLean’s works recall landscapes by Jean-Paul Lemieux (1904-1990), showing a similar starkness and the same use of cold tones. The landscape features are reduced to simple geometric forms in a pared-down style that conveys a sense of isolation.

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Jean-Paul Lemieux, Le soleil dans capricorne, 1965, oil on canvas

Photo : Paul Smith

Jean-Paul Lemieux
1965
Oil on canvas
103,7 x 141 cm
Collection Galerie Leonard-et-Bina-Ellen
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Norma Jean Maclean,  composition, landscape

Photo: Norma Jean MacLean, courtesy the artist

Norma Jean Maclean
2011
Oil on canvas
122 x 122 cm
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James Wilson Morrice (1865-1924), a Canadian who spent most of his life in Europe, was a prolific landscape painter. Beginning in the early 1900s, he produced numerous seascapes. The Post-Impressionist style of his seaside scenes reflects an exploration of colour and space.
James Wilson Morrice (1865-1924), a Canadian who spent most of his life in Europe, was a prolific landscape painter. Beginning in the early 1900s, he produced numerous seascapes. The Post-Impressionist style of his seaside scenes reflects an exploration of colour and space.

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James Wilson Morrice, The Ferry, Quebec, 1907, oil on canvas

Photo © NGC

James Wilson Morrice
1907
Oil on canvas
62 x 81,7 cm
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Daniel Hutchinson, 2012, nature, monochrome, formal

Photo: Daniel Hutchinson, courtesy Angell Gallery, Toronto

Daniel Hutchinson
2012
Oil on wood panel
76 x 102 cm
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Tom Thomson (1877-1917) fast became an emblematic figure of Canadian art, chiefly owing to the expressive and aesthetic qualities of his works and to his pivotal influence in establishing the Group of Seven. Seeking to create a distinctive style of Canadian painting, this group of artists produced paintings marked by bold colours and simple forms. Their contemplative visions of the northern landscape are considered to be the expression of a Canadian identity.
Tom Thomson (1877-1917) fast became an emblematic figure of Canadian art, chiefly owing to the expressive and aesthetic qualities of his works and to his pivotal influence in establishing the Group of Seven. Seeking to create a distinctive style of Canadian painting, this group of artists produced paintings marked by bold colours and simple forms. Their contemplative visions of the northern landscape are considered to be the expression of a Canadian identity.

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Tom Thomson, ln the Northland, 1915, oil on canvas, Group of Seven

Photo MMFA, Denis Farley

Tom Thomson
1915
Oil on canvas
101,7 x 114,5 cm
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Kim Dorland, 2010, portrait, impasto

Photo: Kim Dorland, courtesy Angell Gallery, Toronto and Mike Weiss Gallery, New York

Kim Dorland

Oil and acrylic on linen canvas
50,8 x 40,6 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


When in 1982 Claude Tousignant produced Construction 419 – a long sculptural panel and a triangle painted directly on the wall and juxtaposed in the same space – he could not have foreseen that a new generation of artists, including Stéphane La Rue, would share his interest in the relationship between form and plane, between the painted and the sculpted.
When in 1982 Claude Tousignant produced Construction 419 – a long sculptural panel and a triangle painted directly on the wall and juxtaposed in the same space – he could not have foreseen that a new generation of artists, including Stéphane La Rue, would share his interest in the relationship between form and plane, between the painted and the sculpted.

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Claude Tousignant, Construction 419, 1982

View of the exhibition Claude Tousignant : Sculptures, from January 15 to February 21, 1982 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Photo MMFA

Claude Tousignant

View of the exhibition
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Stéphane La Rue, Out of Shape No. 2, 2010, graphite powder on wood

Photo: Guy L’Heureux, courtesy Galeries Roger Bellemare et Christian Lambert, Montreal, and TrépanierBaer Gallery, Calgary

Stéphane La Rue
2010
Graphite powder on wood
119,6 x 93,6 cm
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Maclean’s interest in commonplace materials also characterizes the art of Betty Goodwin (1926-2008), who made extensive use of found objects in printmaking and in the Tarpaulin series, where worn and patched tarps serve as pictorial surfaces worked with gesso, chalk and oil.
Maclean’s interest in commonplace materials also characterizes the art of Betty Goodwin (1926-2008), who made extensive use of found objects in printmaking and in the Tarpaulin series, where worn and patched tarps serve as pictorial surfaces worked with gesso, chalk and oil.

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Works of Betty Goodwin, 1974

Photo: MNBAQ, Idra Labrie

Betty Goodwin
1974
Gesso on tarpaulin and rope
245 x 203 cm
Coll. MNBAQ 2006.36
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Maclean, 2007-2010, complementary colours, formalism, ex-voto

Photo: Guy L’Heureux, courtesy Galeries Roger Bellemare et Christian Lambert, Montreal

Maclean
2007 - 2010
Oil, enamel, oil stick, grommets, nylon rope and acrylic on polyethylene tarp
205 x 158 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


In Canada, artists began practicing self-portraiture in the 19th century. They often represented themselves at work in their studio, with brush and palette in hand. The self-portrait done by Théophile Hamel (1817-1870) in 1846 depicts a serious figure and was clearly designed to promote the artist to new clients. It is very different from the intimate picture that Brad Phillips paints of himself.
In Canada, artists began practicing self-portraiture in the 19th century. They often represented themselves at work in their studio, with brush and palette in hand. The self-portrait done by Théophile Hamel (1817-1870) in 1846 depicts a serious figure and was clearly designed to promote the artist to new clients. It is very different from the intimate picture that Brad Phillips paints of himself.

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Théophile Hamel, Autoportrait dans l’atelier, circa 1849

Photo: MNBAQ, Jean-Guy Kérouac

Théophile Hamel
c. 1849
oil on canvas
53,5 x 41,6 cm
Coll. MNBAQ 1934.237
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Painting of Brad Phillips, autobiography, oil on canvas

Photo: Byron Dauncey, courtesy Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver and Toronto

Brad Phillips
2011
Oil on canvas
122 x 91 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Expressionist
In the manner of Expressionism, a movement that emerged in Northern Europe at the turn of the 20th century in reaction against academism and the values of contemporary society. It extended to a wide range of arts including painting, architecture, literature, theatre, film, music and dance. In painting it is characterized by a subjective perspective that distorts reality in order to create emotional impact. As World War I approached, Expressionist artists tended to represent harrowing visions.

Fauvist
In the manner of the Fauves (French for “wild beasts”), a group of revolutionary painters active in the early 20th century. The name refers to the radical liberties they took with colour and form, such as the use of pure, flat colour laid on in large planes. These artists espoused an art based on instinct and used colour for its own expressive value, rather than in conventional relation to objects. The pioneer and most famous champion of Fauvism was Henri Matisse.

Formalism
In art theory, the concept that Read More
Expressionist
In the manner of Expressionism, a movement that emerged in Northern Europe at the turn of the 20th century in reaction against academism and the values of contemporary society. It extended to a wide range of arts including painting, architecture, literature, theatre, film, music and dance. In painting it is characterized by a subjective perspective that distorts reality in order to create emotional impact. As World War I approached, Expressionist artists tended to represent harrowing visions.

Fauvist
In the manner of the Fauves (French for “wild beasts”), a group of revolutionary painters active in the early 20th century. The name refers to the radical liberties they took with colour and form, such as the use of pure, flat colour laid on in large planes. These artists espoused an art based on instinct and used colour for its own expressive value, rather than in conventional relation to objects. The pioneer and most famous champion of Fauvism was Henri Matisse.

Formalism
In art theory, the concept that form determines content. By extension, formalist or formalist abstract painting is art that emphasizes compositional elements, such as colour, line, shape and texture, and excludes all expressive or narrative content.

Genre
A type or category of painting. In the 17th century, the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture established a hierarchy of genres, ranking paintings according to their uplifting content and difficulty of execution. History painting was deemed the noblest genre, followed by portraiture, genre scene (everyday life), landscape and still life. Challenges to this hierarchy began emerging in the 19th century.

Minimalism
This art movement, which appeared in the early 1960s, favoured shapes that were not strictly geometric but were always simple. The style was depersonalized, and extreme restraint was of primary importance. The aim of the school was to minimalize interventions.

Naive art
This term emerged around 1900 to designate a marginal style of figurative art. Variously described as undisciplined, awkward, childlike, candid, simple and spontaneous, the naive approach often blends fantasy with realism. The mostly self-taught artists use bright, pure, solid colours. Several modern movements, including Surrealism, borrowed from the naive aesthetic in rejecting academic conventions.

Photorealism
A style of painting that is often based on a photograph, creating the illusion of reality with meticulous attention to detail and barely discernible brushwork. The photorealism movement flourished in the United States in the 1960s and 70s. Also called sharp-focus realism or hyperrealism.

Regionalism
A style of painting that realistically depicts the characteristics of a region or place based on the artist’s direct experience.

Surrealism
A literary and artistic movement that emerged after World War I. Its central tenets were the rejection of logical constructs and the elevation of the irrational, the absurd, dreams, desires and revolt.

Symbolism
Symbolism, the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities, initially developed as a literary movement in the late 19th century. In painting, it represents a synthesis of form and feeling, of reality and the artist’s subjectivity or imagination.

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Abstraction
A major trend in 20th-century painting and sculpture, abstract art may be completely non-representational or may represent subjects from the visible world in forms that make them unrecognizable.

All-over
A method of painting that covers the entire surface in a fairly uniform manner, with no traditional compositional structure or central focal point.

Appropriation
The use of borrowed images or objects in the creation of a new work. Many appropriation artworks are intended to critique society and challenge the notion of art ownership.

Autobiography
An account of a person’s life written or otherwise told by that person.

Collage
The technique of combining and pasting diverse elements (pieces of paper, photographs, newspaper clippings, rubbish, small objects) on a support to create works of art that play on the juxtaposition of formal motifs and the creation of connections between materials. Introduc Read More
Abstraction
A major trend in 20th-century painting and sculpture, abstract art may be completely non-representational or may represent subjects from the visible world in forms that make them unrecognizable.

All-over
A method of painting that covers the entire surface in a fairly uniform manner, with no traditional compositional structure or central focal point.

Appropriation
The use of borrowed images or objects in the creation of a new work. Many appropriation artworks are intended to critique society and challenge the notion of art ownership.

Autobiography
An account of a person’s life written or otherwise told by that person.

Collage
The technique of combining and pasting diverse elements (pieces of paper, photographs, newspaper clippings, rubbish, small objects) on a support to create works of art that play on the juxtaposition of formal motifs and the creation of connections between materials. Introduced by the Cubists, collage brought a new dimension to painting with the addition of non-art materials.

Complementary colours
Pairs of colour that are opposite each other on the colour wheel (e.g., blue-orange, green-red, yellow-violet). When the colours of a pair are juxtaposed, the impact of the contrast alters the way the eye perceives them.

Composition
The combination and organization of pictorial elements in a work of art: harmony of colours, general layout of lines, sense of movement, play of shadows, etc.

Contrast
In art, the opposition or juxtaposition of different forms, lines or colours that intensifies each element’s properties and produces a dynamic expressiveness. Colour contrasts can be between different colours or different shades of the same colour.

Drip painting
A technique in which the paint is dripped directly onto a canvas laid on the floor or other horizontal surface, often using a stick, hardened brush or punctured paint can. Drip painting is chiefly associated with Jackson Pollock and the American Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1950s.

Environment
A three-dimensional art form that emerged in the 1960s. Typically a space in which the viewer can move around, with the elements arranged by the artist so that the context conditions the way they are perceived.

Ex-voto
A painting or other object offered to a deity or saint to obtain or give thanks for a blessing. Votive paintings were very popular in New France.

Figuration
The depiction of recognizable subjects from the visible world. Figurative art imitates reality, although the representations may be imaginary or distorted.

Flat colour
A uniform, unbroken, unshaded area of colour.

Hard-edge
An abstract painting style of the 1950s characterized by sharply defined geometric shapes in intense colours.

Iconography
A set of figurative representations (images, symbols, themes, figures, colours) associated with a subject and the visual conventions that identify it.

Impasto
Paint laid on in heavy layers or brushstrokes, so that it stands out from the surface; the technique of applying paint in this way.

Landscape
Practiced since the dawn of art history and a genre in its own right since the Renaissance, landscape art traditionally depicts natural scenery. It may include figures, animals, objects or architectural elements and often prompts reflection on the place of humankind in nature

Layering
The process of applying multiple coats of paint or other material to obtain a certain thickness.

Narrative
The story or account of events told by a painting.

Miniature
A very small, finely detailed painting, often a portrait. Executed on card, ivory and various other surfaces, miniatures were highly popular into the 19th century. By extension, a small objet d’art.

Monochrome
Consisting of only one colour. But unity of colour does not exclude a range of shades. This is why paintings in monochrome or grisaille, despite being executed in a single colour, can offer a wealth of nuances.

Palette
A thin wooden, metal, ceramic or plastic tray, often with a thumb hole, once commonly used by painters to hold and mix colors. Now, by extension, the range of colours used by an artist.

Pentimento
Visible trace of an alteration or correction made during the creation of a painting. From the Italian, meaning “repentance” or “remorse.”

Perspective
The method of representing a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional surface by creating the illusion of depth and volume. Perspective is a basic element in the representational art of the Western world.

Pictorial illusion
An impression of reality and presence created in an artwork by the use of pictorial techniques such as trompe l’oeil. Another form of illusion is the sense of depth and three-dimensional space produced by modeling and perspective.

Pochade
A small, rapidly executed colour sketch of a scene or subject, often a rough landscape done outdoors. Unlike a sketch, a pochade can be considered a painting in its own right.

Portrait
A drawn, painted, sculpted, photographic or other representation of a person, especially of the face. Portraiture involves not only depicting the subject’s physical features but also conveying his or her temperament and character. Portraits generally have a commemorative, and sometimes promotional, value.

Preliminary sketch
Initial study for a project, often executed in quick strokes to capture the essence of the subject.

Push and Pull
A theory and practice of colour developed by the American painter Hans Hofmann, based on the observation that, when juxtaposed, some colours seem to make others either advance or recede. This push and pull between background and foreground creates a visual tension, giving the viewer a sense of depth and movement.

Quotation
In an artwork, direct reference to a work by another artist. Quotation is meant to be recognized and is frequently used by contemporary artists.

Screen printing
A printing technique that involves pressing ink through the open areas of a stencil supported by a screen of fine mesh. Also called silk screening or serigraphy.

Self-portrait
A depiction of an artist done by the artist. Self-portraiture has been a recognized genre since the Renaissance, when the concept of individuality arose as a central concern. Some self-portraits are reflexive images, likenesses that refer back to the artist exploring his or her own face.

Self-referential
In painting, a work is self-referential when it uses itself as its own theme; in other words, when the subject and content focus on the painting medium.

Site-specific
This term emerged in the 1960s to describe artworks created in such close relation to particular physical places that their character and meaning would be lost or changed if they were moved elsewhere. Site-specific works are often but not always ephemeral.

Style
In painting, the manner in which a work is executed; by extension, a manner particular to or characteristic of an artist, school or movement.

Tondo
A round or circular painting, so called from the Italian word rotondo (round) since the Renaissance.

Trompe l’oeil
An ancient pictorial technique which plays on the laws of perspective to create the illusion of reality. Used by painters to create three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface.

Visual language
In the same way that verbal language is based on a vocabulary, works of art are means of expression that reflect and communicate an artist’s thinking. Visual language is expressed through combinations of materials, forms, lines, colours, values, textures, motifs, volumes and other elements.

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Learning Objectives

Recognize Canadian artworks
Recognize and situate the great movements of art history
Use specialized vocabulary and methodological tools specific to the field of visual arts
Understand works from various eras in their historical context
Draw artistic connections between works (influence, convergence, opposition)

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