Alfred Pellan

1 Jan 2000 — 1 Jan 2020 at Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec in Québec, Canada

15 JULY 2017
Alfred Pellan. Courtesy of Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
Alfred Pellan. Courtesy of Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

Alfred Pellan, the wide-awake dreamer, explored a great many art forms, techniques and materials, a demonstration of his visceral need to create. A display worthy of this artist imbued with Surrealism, from universal quest to individual expression and from grand paintings to everyday objects.

This exhibition provides visitors with an opportunity to dive into the surrealist universe of Alfred Pellan, one of the best-known figures of Québec’s cultural modernity. During his extended stay in Paris, from 1926 to 1940, Pellan was smitten with Picasso’s Cubist space and the Surrealist universe of Breton, Ernst and Miró. While he was not an official member of the famous group, preferring to maintain his artistic independence, Pellan was always responsive to this “state of poetry” which, to his mind, was the movement’s essential quest.

It was only when he returned to Québec in the 1940s that this Surrealist direction in his artistic idiom was confirmed. While it initially took the form of illustrations of poetry, Pellan’s affinity with the movement quickly extended to his entire artistic practice, as can be seen in the thematic repertoire, stylistic elements and Surrealist techniques he regularly employed.