Artwork by Léon Bellefleur,  Sans titre
Thumbnail of Artwork by Léon Bellefleur,  Sans titre Thumbnail of Artwork by Léon Bellefleur,  Sans titre Thumbnail of Artwork by Léon Bellefleur,  Sans titre

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Consignor Canadian Fine Art
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

Lot #30

Leon Bellefleur
Sans titre

oil on canvas
signed and dated 1975 lower centre
24 x 20 ins ( 61 x 50.8 cms )

Estimated: $7,000.00 - $9,000.00

Private Collection, Toronto
Guy Robert, Bellefleur: The Fervour of the Quest, Montreal, 1988, pages 89, 103, 115 and 121
A Canadian artist with a distinctive abstract style uniquely his own, Bellefleur exemplified experimental painting with his faceted abstract paintings throughout his career. “Sans titre” incorporates the quintessential elements of the artist’s artistic progression through the 1960s into the 1970s; the spray of pigment left to dry between paint applications, a softened background and swaths of paint applied thickly with the palette and brush emphasizing a contrast between light and dark.

The application of the medium instills a sense of hurried explosion by the artist on the canvas. As if Bellefleur could not apply the paints fast enough, organic twists and turns of the formed paints bring loose movement and energy to the work. Rather than create pieces with static flatness and hard edge colour blocking, as was in vogue with many of the artist’s contemporaries, Bellefleur instead explores an esoteric approach to painting.
Sale Date: May 29th 2018

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Preview this item at:

Consignor Canadian Fine Art
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

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Léon Bellefleur
(1910 - 2007) RCA

Léon Bellefleur was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1910. By the age of ten he was painting landscapes and still lifes on cardboard cut from grocery store cartons. He knew he had a passion for art and wanted to be a painter from the age of twelve, but was advised against this vocation by well-meaning family and friends concerned for his financial welfare. After completing secondary education, Bellefleur obtained his teaching certificate from the Jacques Cartier Normal School in Montreal (1929). His choice of profession enabled him to earn a steady income while pursuing his passion during school holidays. Bellefleur taught in schools of the French Catholic School Commission system for the following twenty-five years (1929–1954) while attending evening classes at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal (1929–1936).

In 1942, Bellefleur met Alfred Pellan. At Pellan's studio, he was introduced to Albert Dumouchel, Jacques de Tonnancour, Jeanne Rhéaume and Goodridge Roberts. Most of these artists were members of the Contemporary Art Society, which Bellefleur joined in 1943. He had his first solo show in 1946. In 1948 he signed the manifesto of ‘Prisme d’Yeux’, drafted by Jacques de Tonnancour and representing the interests of a group of artists from the Contemporary Art Society. Bellefleur was also interested in Paul-Émile Borduas’ group–the ‘Automatistes’. Both groups were influenced by the Surrealist movement. Bellefleur was especially interested in the art of Paul Klee and children’s art. Although the Prisme d’Yeux was shortlived, Bellefleur exhibited with them at the two exhibitions they held.

In 1950, Bellefleur held his second solo show at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The following year, he won the Jessie Dow prize in Modern Painting at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Spring Exhibition. In the same year, he was chosen to participate in the ‘Jeunes Peintres Canadiens’ Exhibit in Europe and at the ‘Biennale of Sao Paulo’ in Brazil. In 1954 Bellefleur retired from teaching. He travelled to France where he settled for the next twelve years, regularly visiting Canada. He was awarded a Scholarship from the Canada Council for the Arts in 1959. In 1960 he represented Canada at the Guggenheim Museum in New York with fellow artists Paul-Émile Borduas, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Edmund Alleyn and Harold Town. In 1965 Bellefleur returned to Canada and settled in Quebec.

In 1968 he received a second Scholarship from the Canada Council for the Arts and the National Gallery of Canada organized a retrospective show of his work. In 1977, Bellefleur received the first ever Paul-Émile Borduas Prize. This distinction enhanced his reputation as an important Canadian Artist. In 1987, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Concordia University in Montreal.