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Indepth Arts News:

"JEAN DALLAIRE'S FASCINATING WORLD"
2000-03-02 until 2000-04-16
MONTREAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
Montreal, QC, CA Canada

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will be showing an extensive retrospective of artist Jean Dallaire (Hull, 1916-Vence, 1965). This exhibition has been organized and circulated by the Musée du Québec, some fifty years after presenting its first Jean Dallaire exhibition. Dallaire offers a unique opportunity to discover a remarkably talented artist and the scope of his contribution-litte-known yet so essential-to Québec and Canadian art history.

The Dallaire exhibition will feature 128 paintings and drawings produced between 1933 and 1965, many of which were unknown and revealed through laborious searching. Set up chronologically according to three main themes, Discoveries of youth (1933-1945), The inventions of and independent artist (1946-1958), End with Carnival backdrop (1959-1965), the exhibition offers visitors a unique adventure marked by the major currents in art history and Dallaire's very original means of constructing his own personal universe. Dallaire sees the world as a fascinating performance and offhandedly denounces artifice (…) Theatre in all forms - tragedy, puppets, clowning - excercises a happy influence on him (…). However, his art is not dependent on the stage or on literature and its pictorial impact is fully intact. [Pierre Saucier, La peinture - Jean Dallaire, La Patrie, Montréal, April 29, 1954]

Not associated with any particular group and free of any stylistic allegiance, Jean Dallaire ventured into modern avenues of expression by creating works which are fantasy-ridden, eclectic, scholarly and seductive, replete with a surprising expressive expansiveness reflecting various influences, duly integrated and mastered by the artist.

The exhibition seeks to shed new light on the wealth of artist's plastic vocabulary and his moving imaginary creations. Since 1946, the year the first State museum acquired works by Jean Dallaire, namely La Vieille Demoiselle and Le Jardinier, the Musée du Québec has maintained its interest in the artist's production. Today, it houses 48 of Dallaire's works. The Museum of Fine Arts acquired, between 1957 and 1984, four paintings and three drawings by the artist.

The exhibition wa organized by Michèle Grandbois, the Musée du Québec Curator of Modern Art. Rosalind Pepall, Curator of Canadian Art (1915-1970) at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, will be responsible of the Montreal presentation.

The exhibition and the catalogue (in French), published by the Musée du Québec, have both received financial assistance from the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec and the Department of Canadian Heritage's Museums Assistance Program.


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