Borduas, Paul-Émile (1905-1960)

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Borduas, Paul-Émile (1905-1960)

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1905 -1960


According to the National Gallery of Canada website, Paul-Émile Borduas is one of the most important figures in modern Canadian art.
Borduas' early career was spent mostly as a church decorator, assisting Québec painter and decorator ,Ozias Leduc (1864- 1955). Before going to Europe and studying under Maurice Denis and Georges Desvallieres at École des Art Sacrés in Paris, he took classes in Montreal at École des Beaux Arts and École Technique. His students included Jean Paul Riopelle, ( 1923-2002) Rita Letendre (1928-2021) and Marcel Barbeau (1925-2016) . Borduas was the author of the "Refus Global", an influential manifest calling for freedom of expression and signed by many of Québec's leading artist and intellectuals.
Borduas moved to New York in 1953 which greatly influenced his artistic development. There he saw the work of artists from the New York School of Abstract Expressionists, including American painters Jackson Pollock (1912- 1956) and Markus Y. Rothkowitz aka Mark Rothko (1903-1970). In 1955 he moved back to Paris where he continued to write and paint. He died there in 1960.


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MacDonald, Colin S. A Dictionary of Canadian Artists. 1st ed., Canadian Paperbacks Pub, 1967. p. 58-62.
National Gallery of Canada website:

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