Ever since he gave up architecture to pursue his painting, André Pitre’s art has evolved with continuity and coherence. André Pitre stands out as one of the most promising artists of his generation. His art tends towards harmony and beauty but under the pallet’s lavishness and composition he expresses his preoccupation for the human condition and fragile pleasures we try to protect as well as unheard anguish we all try to conquer.Inside both abstract and constructed spaces, figures come and go. They may be real or recalled from the past, as if the artist retained only the memory of their presence on the canvas. With Pitre, nothing is certain; anything is possible. As a reflective being, he never rushes to paint his subject; he has the wisdom to let the subject come from within.
If we look at the ensemble of his paintings since he began painting in 1993, we are faced with an enormous amount of work which has been conceived by sequences. Each component illustrates a state of being represented in life’s different stages. These ever changing moments in time are well incarnated in an intense and delicate space where beyond the figures’ apparent calmness is hidden drama. His figures never impose their presence; they are discreet and meld with other elements. Their presence, however, is increased tenfold as we understand precisely their psychological complexity.
Henri Leopold Masson, Canadian, (OSA, CGP, GSPWC)was born in Namur, Belgium in 1907. He came to Canada with his family in 1921 and settled in Ottawa. He was employed as a silver engraver for several years as a young man and became a master engraver at the age of 25. Visiting the National Gallery of Canada around this time he discovered the work of the Group of Seven. Inspired by their style and use of colour he was inspired to try painting himself. He studied for a time at the Ottawa Art Association, but was mainly self taught. Two years later, in 1934, he was already emerging as a painter of importance. By 1945 he could devote most of his time to painting and exhibited extensively with good success. He painted genre scenes in the Hull area and landscape in the Gatineau Valley. He also painted on trips to Europe and the United States. He exhibited at the Robertson Galleries and Wallack Galleries in the 1960 and 70’s. A significant collection of his work is housed in the National Gallery of Canada. He died in 1996.
Henri Masson was born 10 January 1907 in Spy, a small village near Namur in Belgium. He started his studies at the Athénée Royale of Brussels when he was 13 and from then on all his spare time was devoted to drawing and painting. After his father died in 1921, he and his mother immigrated to Canada, settling in Ottawa. He started working in an engraving studio in Ottawa in 1923. He also took courses at the Ottawa Art Association and the Ottawa Art Club.
He earned his living, as an engraver until 1945, ensuring the security of his family, which he explained, was vital considering that he had three children and was not by nature a bohemian. This was also a period when few artists were able to make a living by their art alone. Masson therefore worked at the engraving studio during the day and painted in the evenings and on weekends.
Masson first exhibited in 1933, a group exhibition to which he submitted a selection of watercolors, pastels and drawings. His first showing of oil paintings was in 1936 in an exhibition at the Ontario Society of Artists in Toronto.
The Masson household was a beehive of activity and an interesting mix of friends met once a week to discuss music, painting, politics and the state of society. Eclectic, cultivated, open-minded, Masson could be the heart and soul of any gathering. He talked about music as a connoisseur, he was well informed about politics and he could hold forth easily on travel and other interests. He discussed painting in simple terms, very much in the manner of the paintings he produced. For Masson, everything was clear, simple and orderly. It is not surprising that he followed his own inclinations, independent of various trends developing in the arts in Canada. His quick and outspoken manner on occasion caused some controversy, but there was never any contradiction in his paintings or in the consistency of his work.
In 1937, on the birth of his first son, Carl, Masson exhibited at the Caveau. His first solo exhibition was held at the Picture Loan Society in Toronto in 1938, followed by another solo exhibition in 1939 at the Caveau. He also exhibited with the Canadian Group of Painters as well as exhibiting in New York and Montreal.
Masson started exhibiting at the Galerie L’Art Français in 1941. That same year, he became a member of the Canadian Group of Painters and joined the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolor and the Société des Arts Graphiques.
In 1944, with H.O. McCurry, A.Y. Jackson and Arthur Lismer, Masson adjudicated an exhibition of war art held at the National Gallery of Canada. He also exhibited his paintings at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven and the Fine Arts Museum of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Still in 1944, The National Film Board discussed Henri Masson and his art in a documentary film. He was elected president of the Ottawa branch of the Federation of Canadian Artists in 1945. Masson taught at Queen’s University Summer School in Kingston from 1948 to 1952. He returned to Europe in 1952 for the first time, visiting his hometown in Belgium.
In the summer of 1954, he taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts and in 1955 he was granted an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Assomption College in Windsor, Ontario. That same year he taught at the Kingsmere Summer Festival along with A.Y. Jackson. His painting, “Logs on the Gatineau River,” was reproduced for the cover of the Canadian Geographical Journal.
Masson returned to Europe in 1957, this time travelling in Italy, France and Belgium. From 1960 to 1963 he taught summer courses at the Doon School of Fine Arts. He illustrated an article on the quiet revolution in Quebec, “Quebec in Revolt,” that was published in Fortune Magazine.
In 1973 Masson travelled to the Soviet Union. In 1975 he participated in an hour-long radio interview at Radio-Canada. He travelled to the Orient in 1976: Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong. In 1979 the municipality of Sainte-Catherine d’Alexandrie honored Masson, naming a street after him. In 1980 Masson took part in Radio-Canada’s television program “Rencontres,” and as part of the L’Atelier series, he was also interviewed by Naim Kattan of Radio-Canada FM.
Masson was a member of:
the Canadian Group of Painters
the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolor
the Canadian Society of Graphic Arts
the Federation of Canadian Artist
Masson is first and foremost a landscape artist. He paints from nature; trees, villages, the sea, lighthouses and small boats. It is easy to see from his work that Masson liked old houses and street scenes. He did not look for the spectacular but for local neighborhoods and back yards. He was particularly interested in French Canadian history. Although Masson painted European landscapes, he was essentially a Canadian who painted landscapes depicting the Ottawa region, Gatineau and especially the province of Quebec: Gaspé, Charlevoix (notably Baie St. Paul), the Eastern Townships and the Laurentians.
Masson sketched outdoors, always conscious of the purity and light of the diverse tones in nature. These sketches were the starting point for the paintings completed in his studio. His sensitivity, his expertise and his love of nature and humanity transformed everything he touched. Under his agile brush even the most mundane subjects became exciting. In 1940 the art critic Marious Barbeau noted that the artist was interested in the inhabitants of the countryside that he explored, preferring scenes where people were at work or at play. He described Masson as a chronicler and a landscapist. In the eyes of many critics Masson was the perfect artist, reflecting all the qualities attributed to Canadians in his art.
In the 1940s critics extolled Masson’s realism, the intensity of his color and his gift for satire. The critic P. Gélinas, writing in Le Jour, congratulated Masson for not following the current fashion in art, developing his own vision rather than choosing a middle ground between cubism and surrealism. He also noted that Masson had a sense of luminosity, an understanding of the drama of autumn, the tragedy of the wind and the indefinable mystery of light. In the eyes of the critics Masson was one of the best watercolorists in the country.
Masson gave to everything he touched a dynamic and vigorous force. His paintings, often joyful, are richly descriptive and his sharp eye for detail is reflected in whichever medium he uses. By 1943 Masson was at the height of his talent. He drew the attention of his viewers through the color and movement in his work. He used bold colors brilliantly and with obvious pleasure. Nevertheless, there is a subtlety to his art. The uniqueness of his composition emphasizes the artist’s individuality to the point that critics are inevitably taken by the overall excellence of his paintings.
In the course of numerous discussions about his work, Masson said of his paintings that with experience his paintings changed and evolved with the passing years. This happened slowly, almost imperceptibly. When he was painting during the years 1945, 1946 and 1947 he said that he used colors that were more somber, and that his work was more graphic, his paintings more austere. He also said that he painted subjects that allowed him to display his understanding and personal vision.
He completed his classical studies with the Pères de Sainte-Croix and in 1929 attended the School of Fine Arts where he was taught by Joseph Saint-Charles, Edwin Holgate and Charles Maillardé.In the thirties, he obtained a certain amount of success on the Montreal Art scene. In 1939 he obtained a grant from the Quebec Government to study in Paris but war erupted and Cosgrove went to New York instead. He then went to Mexico where he studied at the San Carlo Academy with the great masters Rodriguez Lozano, Jose Clement Orozco and Rivera. He then worked with the great Jose Clemente Orozco as his assistant.
Upon his return to Montreal, he was named professor at the School of Fine Arts. He continued to paint and exhibit his work, namely at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In 1953, he visited European museums and galleries after receiving a grant from the Canadian Arts Council. Back in Montreal, he continued teaching and then quit in 1958 in order to dedicate himself exclusively to painting. Cosgrove’s canvases represented mostly stiff life and landscapes with a few portraits and nudes. The composition quality of his landscapes was remarkable, creating both fascination and surprise. His paintings radiated mystery and poetry.
Stanley Cosgrove is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy since 1967. His work is found in the following collections: Museum of Québec – Museum of Fine Arts – Vancouver Art Gallery – Art Gallery of Ontario – Canadian National Gallery – Tel-Aviv Museum, Israel – Hart House, Toronto – Winnipeg Art Galleries, Edmonton Art Galleries – National Bank of Canada – Federal Development Bank
Painter and engraver, Kittie Bruneau was born in Montreal in 1929. After studying drawing and modeling at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Montreal (1946 and 1949 ) and a year painting at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts School of Art , she left Quebec to Paris in 1950 , where she perfects dance and became familiar with many artistic movements . She puts the painting aside for a few years, until his return to Quebec , and his first exhibitions coincide with the takeover of the Liberal Party and the death of Borduas (1960). Then she begins to paint his visual language finally discovers his own vocabulary.
The artistic career of Kittie Bruneau and its place in our collective memory are unique . Little influenced by the work of Borduas and Riopelle , his painting is lyrical , colorful , alive. It recognizes the perpetual identity of the artist, always concerned about the human condition quest.
She began a series of exhibitions in several cities, including Montreal , Ottawa, Halifax and Paris . Often associated with post- automation and naive art , the artist whose imagination and fantasy works personalize and give a uniqueness to his artistic expression, does not belong to any particular school or theory.
Since 1962 , it produces vibrant artwork , generous and imaginative in the dough in the subject. Painted with a sincere brutality , his paintings are always short of aggression. Joining the true tenderness, artist invents images she makes sometimes by line , sometimes by the sum of the colors.
In imagination , utilizing mineral, vegetable and animal (including human and divine realms ) , Kittie Bruneau throws on canvas juxtapositions that defy logic and experience without falling into the trap of surrealism . In everything she paints , she expressed a personal vision, objectively verifiable , strange as it may seem, by examining the details of the painted canvas. Drawing, she mastered beautifully, is put at the service of the entire canvas.
Kittie Bruneau ‘s work is part of the collections of several museums, large companies and government agencies in Canada .
Born in Montreal, Quebec, the eldest of seven children. His father, a barrister, enjoyed painting as a hobby. Paul spends four years at the École des Beaux Arts de Montréal, in two periods (1927-30 et 1936-37), where Robert Pilot teaches him etching. At the Beaux Arts, his friends are Jean Paul Lemieux and Stanley CosgroveIn 1938, he’s saved enough money to travel, and makes his way to Paris, where he joins his brother Claude who’s been there since 1935. Beaulieu then buys a studio in Montparnasse. He studies at the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris (1938) and continues to work in his Paris studio until the Nazi invasion in 1940. As a citizen of a country at war with Germany, he is interned at St-Denis from 1940 to 1944, along with brother Claude, Canadian artist Jean DallaireOver the years he has also exhibited his work in New-York City, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro. He returned to Canada in 1973 and bought a house in Saint-Sauveur, Quebec, where he died 23 years later at age 86. After the war he came back to Montreal where he had two solo shows. He then went back to France to his old Paris studio in 1947 and continued to work and travel around France and Europe during the next two decades. During these years he also exhibited in France, as well as in Canada, at salons and galleries. In 1951 he received a prize for painting at the Quebec Provincial Exhibition and in 1960 he received a grant from the Canadian Arts Council for a study trip to Italy., and 160 other fellow Canadians. Beaulieu continues to paint throughout his internment.
Disappointed by the academic teachings of the École des Beaux Arts, in 1930 he opens a commercial art studio in with Gonsalve Desaulniers, who leaves after one year. With the difficult context of the 30’s, Beaulieu manages to make a living for six years. A chance meeting with a café owner brings him to be hire as a waiter at the café, where he is allowed to exhibit his paintings.
Particularly interested in form and design, he applied his paint liberally with a palette-knife and brush in bright colours. Dorothy Pfeiffer, a Montreal art critic, once wrote in the Montreal Gazette; “… his work is suffused with a subtle and romanesque love of colour.”
Beaulieu’s media include oils, watercolours, lithography and etching. Paul Duval referred to his etchings as “crisp” and used the artist’s aquatint entitled “Illustration” for an example in his book on drawings and prints.
Paul-Vanier Beaulieu has exhibited in Quebec, Toronto, New York, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, and other centres. He is represented in major Canadian Museums, the Bezalel Museum in Jerusalem, and the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.