Peinture et modernité au Québec, 1919-1939

Type of resource
Peinture et modernité au Québec, 1919-1939
The author demonstrates that the first expressions of modern artistic thought and practice in Quebec emerged mostly among Anglophone artists in the 1920s and 1930s. Still a minority in French Quebec's conservative nationalist and Catholic society, this artistic modernism opened Quebec’s culture to international artistic tendencies, both European and American. Based on the articles of the major modern art critics, the first part of the author's thesis studies the main characteristics of that first modern esthetic thought. Against the constraint of academism and nationalism in art, these critics, in favor of a contemporary realism, defended an "art vivant" (a living art), based on subjective and personal reinterpretation of reality. From works produced by artists who where, for the vast majority, the founding members of the Contemporary Arts Society of Montreal in 1939, the second part of the thesis investigates the iconographic and formal aspects of that first pictural modernity. John Lyman, a prominent Montreal painter and critic, was the Contemporary Arts Society's founder and first president, and the society included Alexander Bercovitch, Goodridge Roberts, Eric Goldberg, Jack Weldon Humphrey and Jori Smith. Using post-impressionist and expressionist processes, these artists painted new subjects, different of those of the French Quebec tradition.
PhD dissertation
Université de Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne
Paris, France
# of Pages
3 vols.
Trépanier, Esther. “Peinture et modernité au Québec, 1919-1939.” PhD dissertation, Université de Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, 1991.
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