Pierre Ayot

Canadian painter and photographer

Pierre Ayot

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Pierre Ayot was born in Montreal on June 26, 1943. In an environment conducive to creation, he was quickly self-taught before wanting to study concretely at the École des Beaux-arts de Montréal from 1959 to 1962. It was at the same school that he met an important character in his journey: his teacher of engraving Albert Dumouchel. Following his apprenticeship, he developed a taste for teaching and in turn became a professor in the Department of Arts from 1964 until 1995

His artistic development coincided with his teaching career and his involvement in a collective/workshop, which later became L'Atelier Graff, a centre for the dissemination, research and production of contemporary art in Montreal.

He began in 1964 with his preferred medium, engraving. He will develop around this, all type of approaches and variations of prints inspired mainly by pop art and his learning with Dumouchel. It is only from the end of the sixties that we see a turning point in his work: he adds the integration of external objects and he changes his vision.  In the 1970s, he was deeply attracted by New York art and the liberalism of European culture. Adept at multidisciplinary experiments, he then embarked on his most prolific phase: the explosion of mediums in his work. Going through photography to painting and sculpture, he will constantly go beyond the limits of his medium.

His work was officially recognized, for the first time in 1980 when the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal devoted a whole retrospective to him, which triggered the enthusiasm for his work and earned him several awards and exhibitions. In 1992, the Pierre Ayot exhibition and its Museum Circus at the Musée national des beaux-arts de Québec was a great success.

He died accidentally in 1995 and the following year, the city of Montreal decided to create in his memory the Pierre-Ayot Prize in order to help any artist at the beginning of his career.

Years after his death, his work continued to be exhibited around the world, notably at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Gallery in London.

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