The Dog Sled Race
Participation in the 4th Sao Paulo Biennial marks the year 1957 in the career of Jean-Paul Lemieux. He was then accompanied by Canadian artists Takao Tanabe and Harold Town. Later that year, Lemieux's works were the subject of a traveling exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Canada.
The years 1956 to 1970 are considered to be the classic period of the works of Jean-Paul Lemieux. It was at this time that he approached the theme of space and time. This style will also make him famous. The artistic Quebec of the 1950s and 1960s will be a bubbling era for abstract art. Despite the pressures surrounding him, Lemieux remains faithful to figuration, he will evolve in his own way by stripping down shapes and colors.
It was in 1956 that Lemieux rediscovered the Canadian landscape. Returning from a trip to Europe, Lemieux sees snow-covered spaces as a backdrop, traversed by humanity. The artist will affirm this: “From 1956 [...] I no longer see things in the same way. A totally different vision is developing, a mostly horizontal vision, which I had never felt before. I had never noticed before how horizontal our country is. And I had to move away from it to realize it. It is quite true that it is elsewhere that we discover ourselves ... "1
The work titled the dog sled race fits perfectly into this line of thought. In this winter landscape, the horizon merges with the sky. The painting being crossed by dog ??sleds has the effect of increasing the distance to be covered in a hostile landscape. The imagination of a dog race leads us to think of the speed and noise of the teams. However, the vastness of the snowy landscape muffles these noises and seems to slow runners down in time.
1. GRANDBOIS, Michele: Jean-Paul Lemieux sa vie et son oeuvre, Institut de l'art canadien
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Jean-Paul Lemieux (1904 - 1990)
The Dog Sled Race, 1957
Galerie Cosner au Ritz-Carlton Montréal
Oil on canvas
Post-War Canadian art
Artwork dimensions 30,5 cm x 144,8 cm / 12'' x 57’’ Artwork with frame: 55 cm x 171 cm / 22'' x 67,5''
Signed and dated lower right