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Homage to Jean Paul Lemieux

June 4 to September 5, 2005

Homage to Jean Paul Lemieux, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, marks the hundredth anniversary of Lemieux’s birth and pays tribute to this remarkable Québécois artist. Included in the exhibition are more than fifty drawings and paintings from the National Gallery of Canada as well as from other Canadian museums and private collections.

Jean Paul Lemieux was born in Quebec City in 1904. While his earlier landscapes were influenced by the aesthetic of the Group of Seven and the American Social Realist painters, by the 1950s he had defined his own vision in landscape.

In his first renderings of picturesque subjects, Lemieux showed himself to be an accomplished draughtsman, faithful to his training at the École des beaux arts in Montreal. Then, like many artists of his generation, he began to find inspiration in the everyday life of the middle class, and in the countryside of Charlevoix County where he spent many summers.

The Montreal public was first introduced to Lemieux in the 1930s when his work was included in the Spring Exhibitions of the Art Association of Montreal. In its critique of the 1938 show, La Presse described Jean Paul Lemieux as “the most impressive painter of the younger generation.”

After spending a sabbatical year in France (1954-55), with his wife and daughter Anne Sophie, Lemieux returned to Canada.

He would later say: "I was completely lost in France. Anything I was able to paint there was reminiscent of Monet and Bonnard … As soon as I was back in Canada, I began to paint in a very different fashion."

During the course of his artistic career Lemieux broadened the horizons for Canadian landscape painting through his creation of stark, haunting images that capture humanity’s anxiety and solitude in the face of destiny. His portrayal of the wide, open spaces of the winter landscape employs a style and manner that differs dramatically from the art of his contemporaries.

One of his best known paintings, The Evening Visitor, 1956, depicting a solitary priest starkly silhouetted against the bright snow, clearly illustrates the stylistic elements of Lemieux’s mature work.

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec in collaboration with Anne Sophie Lemieux and Madeleine Lacerte. Circulated by the National Gallery of Canada. Presented as part of Modern Classics, the McMichael gallery’s paired summer exhibitions showcasing works from the early to the late twentieth century.

Circulated by the National Gallery of Canada.

National Gallery of Canada

Modern Classics is presented by:

Current Exhibitions

Jean Paul Lemieux, 1904 – 1990
1910 Remembered, 1962
oil on canvas
108 x 148.8 cm
Private Collection

Current Exhibitions

Jean Paul Lemieux, 1904 – 1990
The Evening Visitor
oil on canvas
80.4 cm x 110 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

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