Jean McEwen ARC / RCA
Jean Albert McEwen was born in Montreal on December 14, 1923, and died there on January 9, 1999. While studying pharmacy at Université de Montréal, he developed a passion for painting after seeing '' The Moon and Sixpence'', a movie inspired by Gauguin's life and work. After graduating in 1949, he led the double life of pharmacist and artist for over twenty years. Under the influence of Paul-Émile Borduas, whose encounter was defining, he left for Paris to acquire a better knowledge of avant-garde pictorial trends. Upon his return, he was especially moved by the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock, Sam Francis, Mark Rothko and Jean-Paul Riopelle. Jean McEwen painted with his hands. For him, ''A painting must have something to say every time we look at it'?. He worked on his paintings in successive steps and never ceased to start again or correct them until he felt everything was said. His work is a true ode to colour from which irradiates a very personal modernity imbued with poetry. Appointed a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1969, McEwen was awarded several prizes and distinctions, namely the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas in 1998. In addition, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal dedicated a retrospective to him in 1973 and 1987, respectively. McEwen exhibited regularly (Canada, United States, South America and Europe) and his artworks are part of numerous collections in Canada and abroad. Among his great achievements, it is worth noting his murals at Toronto International Airport, the head office of Scotiabank and in Montreal, at Théâtre Jean-Duceppe at Place des arts.
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