Canadian Art: Abstract and Impressinalist Artists

Paul-Émile Borduas is the foremost abstract painter of the post Canadian war era.  He was born 1905 in St.-Hilaire, Quebec and died 1960. His surrealist, splashy style was radical for the times. In 1953, Borduas left Canada for the United States, and in 1955, he went to Paris.

Initially Jack Bush’s paintings were representational, but by the 1940s his work was becoming increasingly abstract and eventually turned to color abstraction. He was born 1909 in Toronto, raised in Montreal, and then, in his late teens, returned to Toronto.

Emily Carr was born on Dec. 13, 1871 in Victoria, B.C. She studied art at the California School of Design, in San Francisco at others in England and France.  Her inspiration for her paintings were taken from the wilds of British Columbia. Her most famous works, include Big Raven, Tree Trunk, and Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky.

James MacDonald emigrated in 1887 from England, to reside in Hamilton, Ontario and later moved to Toronto. The Tangled Garden is considered to be one of his best. His painting reflected the essential mood and feeling of a landscape through bright impressionist color and stylized forms.

At Sandy Point Reserve, Ontario, Norval Morrisseau was born in 1931 and died on 2007. He was the first to paint the ancient myths and legends of the eastern woodlands. He spent his youth in remote isolation in northern Ontario, near Thunderbay, where his artistic style developed without the usual influences of other artist’s imagery. As the soul originator of his Woodland style he was an inspiration to three generations of artists. He was also once called the “Picasso of the north”.

Jean Paul Riopelle was a Canadian artist born in Montreal in 1923. He died March 12, 2002. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal from 1943-44 and had his first solo exhibition in 1945. Critics say Riopelle was the first Canadian artist to be highly regarded in Europe’s tightly woven art world. He helped introduce abstract impressionism in Paris in the 1950s.