Pierre Gauvreau

Abstract Composition, 1957

mixed media on board
18x24 in.

Gerard Gorce, Montreal;
Private collection

Pierre Gauvreau was an early follower of Paul-Emile Borduas and a signatory to the Automatiste manifesto, being perhaps the most heavily influenced by surrealism of this group. His intense colours, unusual forms, and mixed media surfaces are at times fierce, always evocative, and often visually demanding. He took great joy in his work, and was a gentle and quiet man, a fact that seems a contrast to his vibrant, bold work. Gauvreau mixed his colours on the surface of his works, blending and working them into one another, then layering them up again. His work has a distinct feel, and Abstract Composition is fine example of his technique.

Pierre Gauvreau, painter (b at Montréal 23 Aug 1922). In 1941, while a student at Montréal’s École des beaux-arts, he discovered French modernism through magazine reproductions. His works made under this influence attracted Paul-Émile Borduas, who invited Gauvreau to join the radical young artists and intellectuals who met informally in…