Jean Paul Lemieux, who travelled paths to the sidelines of the major artistic currents, welcomes us into his universe, at once playful and serene, but also marked by doubt and anguish. A world of space and silence.
This exposition plunges visitors into the world of a painter who always followed his own path. From narrative painting with shades of regionalism in his early years, Jean Paul Lemieux gradually moved towards existential and universal concerns: “The heart laid bare, without fail, in its irrefutable manifestness,” Anne Hébert said. The early 1940s saw an almost caricatural primitivism influenced by the naïve artists of the Charlevoix region. The mature period began in the 1950s with an excursion into formal schematization.
The figures in Jean Paul Lemieux’s work, particularly in his so-called classical period, seem to move in a word of “silence and space.” Using conventional painting technique and nostalgically drawing on his immediate surroundings, Lemieux was able to extract his painting from a haunting reality to achieve in its place a soothingly pleasant dream-like state. Over time, this dream-like quality attained, by the end of his life, a cosmic dimension that was not without a sense of anguish, changing his approach to painting.