Portraits and representations of characters punctuate the work of Jean Philippe Dallaire in two stages. During the first period, until the 1950s, the artist paid particular attention to the faithful representation of his subject. In subsequent decades, Dallaire portrays his models in a more caricatural manner, bordering on geometric style 1. In the work Le Violoncelliste, Dallaire presents a musician and his instrument in perfect symbiosis. The character and the cello merge into an environment of cubist influence with vibrant colors. The pronounced features of the composition reinforce its structure, delineating the colored areas applied with the painter's daring brush stroke. Through his representations of characters, the painter conveys a playful, poetic and whimsical vision of a subject.
With regard to the medium used, the art historian and curator Michèle Grandbois emphasizes that the use of gouache testifies "[...] a brilliant mastery of [this] technique and the importance that he gives him all his life as a painter. This unusual valorization of the gouache still reflects its independence "2.
Beyond the artistic currents of the post-war period, Dallaire does not claim any school of thought. Independent, he pursues an individual artistic quest, away from academic concerns. In the 1950s, the artist contributed greatly to the emergence of the new figurative painting.
1. Robert, Guy, 1980, Dallaire, or, The Panic Eye, Montreal: Editions France-America, p.175.
2. Legendre-De Koninck, H. (1999). Dallaire, the Independent / Dallaire Conservative retrospective exhibition: Michèle Grandbois Musée du Québec from June 2 to August 29, 1999. Vie des arts, 43 (175), 36.
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Jean-Philippe Dallaire (1916 - 1965)
Galerie Cosner au Ritz-Carlton Montréal
Gouache sur papier
Post-War Canadian art
16'' x 9,5'' / 40,6 x 24 cm
Signed upper left