Paul-Émile Borduas


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(b Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, 1 Nov. 1905; d Paris, 21 Feb. 1960).

Canadian painter, active mainly in Montreal but also in Paris and New York. He trained as a church decorator under Ozias Leduc, then studied in Paris. In the early 1940s, under Surrealist influence, he started to experiment with automatism and he was the driving force behind the radical abstract group Les Automatistes. His later paintings have an all-over surface animation recalling the work of Pollock, although the only American influence Borduas acknowledged was that of Franz Kline. In 1953–5 he lived in New York, then spent his final years in Paris, where he died of a heart attack. He ranks with Riopelle as one of the outstanding Canadian abstract painters of the post-war years, and like Riopelle he was widely influential in his country.

Subjects: Literature — Art.

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