Paul-Émile Borduas

Canadian, 1905–1960

Untitled, 1955

oil on canvas

71 x 91 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery



Painting, Canadian Modern (1910-1979)

Trained as a church decorator, Paul-Émile Borduas went on to lead the Automatists, a Surrealist-inspired generation of artists that believed that by directing the creative energy of the subconscious to painting, art would herald a more inspired social order. Borduas also wrote the main text of the 1948 manifesto Refus Global, which attacked the conservative social milieu of post-World War II Quebec. The controversial publication led to the artist being fired from his teaching position at the École du Meuble in Montreal. Untitled, a post-Automatist work painted the same year Borduas moved from New York to Paris, shows the influence of American Abstract Expressionism. In this dynamic composition, figure and ground meld into one, and the rich texture of layered pigment has an appealing sensuality.

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