André JASMIN (1922-2020)
André Jasmin quickly comes to an end with figurative painting and explores a wide variety of painting techniques. Influenced by Bonnard, he uses color as a main expressive formal element and investigates its endless possibilities.
However, charcoal has always been his medium of choice; it held a major part within his art and allowed him to stage a creative dialogue with his evolving painting. His singular energy is the result of his instinctive and impulsive technique, while his approach to abstraction stems from his observation of nature. His polymorphous esthetic endeavor gave way to the lyrical abstraction that he went on to refine. The concern of forms and freedom of movement is present in his work. The nervousness of the line contrasts harmoniously with the softness and depth of the colors. The artist constructs and researches levels of different depths where colorful shapes contrast with black lines, impenetrable writings and labyrinths. These brilliant compositions are researches and territories born from his imagination and inspiration.
André Jasmin, this “painter of the inner life” as stated by poet and novelist Fernand Ouellette, will become laborer of forms. These timeless works show his fidelity to himself. From the life of this enigmatic and fascinating character were born rich artworks still largely unexplored.
André Jasmin was born in Montréal on December 7,1922. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at the Université de Montréal in 1942. The same year, he began a two-year internship at l’École du Meuble de Montréal, where he studied with Paul-Émile Borduas, critic and art historian Maurice Gagnon, and architect Marcel Parizeau. He also attended Alfred Pellan’s workshop and later founded the School of Arts and Letters with Bernard Jasmin and Pierre-Paul Élie. From 1945 to 1950, he created theatre sets and costumes for theatre group Les Compagnons de Saint-Laurent, La Compagnie de Masques and Ballets Ruth Sorel. From 1950 to 1958, he tutored painting and art history private lessons in his own workshop. In 1959, he became a painting, drawing and art history teacher at the School of Fine Arts in Montréal, which has been integrated to the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), in 1969, where he pursued his teaching. From 1956 to 1978, he was a regular contributor to Radio-Canada’s programs on the arts, with directors Gilbert Picard and Aline Legrand. In 1965, he wrote and hosted a series of 11 documentaries on the history of sculpture since the beginning of the 1900’s, directed by Fernand Ouellette.His artworks can be found in numerous public collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art of Montréal, the Musée d’art de Joliette, the Museum London, Ontario, the National Museum of Fine Arts of Québec, the Museum of Fine Arts of Canada, as well as in many private collections.
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