Canadian artist, R.C.A. , Contemporary Art Society, Quebec Modern Group


Alfred Pellan was a painter, printmaker, illustrator, graphic artist, theatrical designer, muralist and educator. He was born in Quebec City, Quebec and died in Laval (a Montreal suburb), Quebec where he lived most of his life. He also lived in Paris, France for two extended periods, 1926 to 1940 and 1952 to 1955. Pellan was a leader of the short-lived Prisme d'Yeux (1948), a group that sought an art "freed from all bonds of time and place, and of restrictive ideology ... that can adulterate its expression or compromise its purity."

The art of Alfred Pellan progressed from representational images to abstracted simplified forms and surrealist images. He also painted murals, designed theatre costumes and stained glass, and illustrated books. His mediums were oil, watercolour, gouache, ink, silkscreen, lithograph, serigraph, etching, charcoal, graphite and mixed mediums. His subjects were still life, landscape, urban scenes, figures, portraits, eroticism, allegory, dreams, fantasy, symbolism, colour, shape and texture. His mature styles were Surrealism and Abstraction. Intense colours, fluid linear rhythms and two-dimensionality identify most of his work.

École des Beaux-Arts in Quebec City

First solo exhibition in Paris at the Académie Ranson in 1935
1939 Washington exhibition
Venice Biennale (1952)
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts ( “35 Contemporary Painters”, 1957)
“Festival of Two Worlds” in Spoleto, Italy (1963)
Tate Gallery, London ( “Canadian Painting 1939 -1963”, 1964)
San Francisco Museum of Arts (Fifteen Canadian Artists, 1965)
Art Institute of Chicago (Modern Art in Advertising, 1967)
Art Gallery of Ontario (“A Survey of Canadian Painting”, 1975)
“The Canadian Landscape” travelling exhibition in London, Madrid and Paris (1983)
Museum of Quebec (1985)


Awards and Grants
the Contemporary Arts Society (1940)
Founder of the Prisme d’Yeux group (Prime d'Yeux) in 1948
Order of Canada CC in 1967
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (Associate 1971, Academician 1973)
National Order of Quebec (OQ) in 1985
the Centennial Medal (1967)
Paul-Émile Borduas Prize (1984)

1964-Art and Man---The Modern World
1966-Great Canadian Painting: A Century of Art
1972-The Nude in Canadian Painting
1978-16 Quebec Painters in Their Milieu

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