Paul-Émile Borduas: A Critical Biography (McGill-Queen's/Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation Studies in Art History)

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9780773541894: Paul-Émile Borduas: A Critical Biography (McGill-Queen's/Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation Studies in Art History)
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From his beginnings as a rural church decorator, to his role as catalyst of the social and artistic manifesto the Refus global, to a career as Canada's pre-eminent practitioner of radical abstraction abroad, Paul-Émile Borduas's short life encompassed the reversals and contradictions of the modern condition. Drawing on a lifetime of published research, François-Marc Gagnon's comprehensive biography is a far-reaching exploration of a Quebec cultural figure renowned for both his art and his thought. Gagnon details each period of Borduas's dynamic career - his apprenticeship with Ozias Leduc, his teaching in Montreal and the role within the Automatiste group, his move to New York at the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement, and then, against the current of the times, to Paris, where he created the iconic images of his "cosmic" period. Borduas's relentless search for an authentic art often put him at odds with his surroundings. As an avant-garde artist in a Montreal art world bound by tradition, his most important work had to be exhibited in makeshift venues; as a surrealist-influenced francophone in New York, he recognized the importance of the major figures of Abstract Expressionism but maintained an independent style and method. A full appreciation of Borduas's radical stance - an artistic and intellectual orientation that was always towards the universal - transforms a Canadian cultural landscape where the narrative of artistic modernism centres on figurative landscape art. An original and rigorously researched work, Paul-Émile Borduas: A Critical Biography provides an English-language readership with a much-needed understanding of a seminal modernist, an exemplary figure in Canadian art, and the origins of modern art in North America.

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About the Author:

François-Marc Gagnon (1935-2019) was founding director and distinguished research fellow of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art and a member of the Order of Canada.

Review:

"François-Marc Gagnon is the foremost scholar of Borduas and of the Automatiste movement. This first comprehensive treatment of Borduas's life and work is the product of thorough and impeccable scholarship and is unsurpassed in its comprehensiveness and detail. It will be fundamental to ongoing and future work on the artist and his historical context." Roald Nasgaard, professor emeritus, Florida State University and the author of Abstract Painting in Canada, The Automatiste Revolution and The Plasticiens and Beyond

"...the recent translation of François-Marc Gagnon’s biography of the celebrated modernist painter Paul-Émile Borduas offers a rich art-historical resource to a potentially global audience of English speaking readers." Montreal Review of Books

“This handsome, massive volume is the product of long devotion to Borduas by Francois-Marc Gagnon ... An important book about an outstanding artist.” Border Crossings

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Book Description McGill-Queen's University Press, Canada, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. From his beginnings as a rural church decorator, to his role as catalyst of the social and artistic manifesto the Refus global, to a career as Canada's pre-eminent practitioner of radical abstraction abroad, Paul-Emile Borduas's short life encompassed the reversals and contradictions of the modern condition. Drawing on a lifetime of published research, Francois-Marc Gagnon's comprehensive biography is a far-reaching exploration of a Quebec cultural figure renowned for both his art and his thought. Gagnon details each period of Borduas's dynamic career - his apprenticeship with Ozias Leduc, his teaching in Montreal and the role within the Automatiste group, his move to New York at the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement, and then, against the current of the times, to Paris, where he created the iconic images of his "cosmic" period. Borduas's relentless search for an authentic art often put him at odds with his surroundings. As an avant-garde artist in a Montreal art world bound by tradition, his most important work had to be exhibited in makeshift venues; as a surrealist-influenced francophone in New York, he recognized the importance of the major figures of Abstract Expressionism but maintained an independent style and method. A full appreciation of Borduas's radical stance - an artistic and intellectual orientation that was always towards the universal - transforms a Canadian cultural landscape where the narrative of artistic modernism centres on figurative landscape art. An original and rigorously researched work, Paul-Emile Borduas: A Critical Biography provides an English-language readership with a much-needed understanding of a seminal modernist, an exemplary figure in Canadian art, and the origins of modern art in North America. Seller Inventory # BTE9780773541894

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