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date: 13 December 2019

Automatistes, Leslocked

  • François-Marc Gagnon

Extract

Canadian group of artists active during the 1940s and the early 1950s, led by Paul-Emile Borduas. They were named by Tancrède Marcil jr in a review of their second Montreal exhibition, published in February 1947 in Le Quartier latin, the student journal for the University of Montreal, Quebec. The earliest characteristic example of the group’s work was Borduas’s Green Abstraction (1941; Montreal, Mus. F.A.), a small oil painting intended as an equivalent to the automatic writing of the Surrealist poet André Breton; it was succeeded by a series of 45 gouaches exhibited by Borduas in the foyer of the Théâtre Ermitage in Montreal from 25 April to 2 May 1942 and by other works painted before he moved to New York in 1953.

The group began to form around Borduas in the 1940s when students came to his studio to discuss Marxism, Surrealism and psychoanalysis, virtually forbidden subjects in Quebec at this time. Among these younger artists were ...

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