In response to an article lamenting the decline of the Group of Seven, 1 there appeared a letter in The Canadian Forum. It read, in part, 'This extreme interest in landscape for its sentimental geography is psychologically of the same essence as the popular predilection for anecdotic and souvenir painting. . . [the] emphasis has been misplaced, has been put on the objective rather than the subjective element of artistic creation. The real adventure takes place in the sensibility and imagination of the individual.' 2 This new voice on the Canadian art scene was that of John Lyman, who, within ten years, was to be largely instrumental in totally transforming the face of art in Canada.
John Lyman first studied art in Paris at the Académie Julian with Jean-Paul Laurens, at which time he came to know James Wilson Morrice, for whom he retained a life-long respect. Two years later, during the summer of 1909, he met the British artist Matthew Smith at Étaples and that autumn the two attended the Académie Matisse, a school run by Matisse's students in Paris. 3 Matthew Smith remained at the school for two months 4 and saw Matisse only three times; 5 however, John Lyman appears to have stayed the entire winter. 6 These contacts with Morrice and Matisse were crucial to John Lyman's art. Their devotion to a pure art of colour, line, and form, an art devoid of all anecdotal details or 'non-artistic' concepts, remained with Lyman throughout his life.
His first exhibition in Canada at the Art Association galleries in May 1913, 7 two months after Randolph Hewton's and A.Y. Jackson's 'daring' exhibition, 8 appeared to the Montreal critics to be adding insult to injury. Taking their cue from the criticism of the Armory Show in New York, 9 the journalists outdid themselves in denouncing his work. 10 Disgusted, John Lyman returned to Paris.
He spent the next eighteen years travelling in the United States, North Africa, Spain, and Southern France though based in Paris. In January of 1927 John Lyman's father died. 11 Lyman returned to Montreal where he held an exhibition of his recent work. 12 To his surprise the critics were favourable. More important, he wrote in his journal, 'before even the flattest Quebec landscape I feel that I have more to say than before the magnificent sites of Europe. Two years ago [I] should have thought this statement impossible.' 13 His exile was almost over.
He returned to Canada in the summer of 1930 14 and in February 1931 held another exhibition of his work in Montreal. 15 That September he returned to Canada for the last time. 16
In Montreal he sought out people sympathetic to creative ideas in art and literature, holding a weekly salon at his Sherbrooke Street apartment. 17 Through these gatherings there grew a core of people familiar with and supportive of contemporary European art.
Soon after settling in Montreal, with Hazen Sise, George Holt, Elizabeth Frost, and André Biéler, Lyman founded the Atelier. 18 In the introductory pamphlet, Hazen Sise 19 wrote, 'The essential qualities of a work of art lie in the relationships of form to form, and of colour to colour. From these the eye, and especially the trained eye derives its pleasure and all artistic emotion must find its expression through these means.' 20 Stressing the importance of classical principles in art, the principles that united the art of the past to the art of the European moderns, Lyman introduced his students to Ingres, Cézanne, and Matisse and the Journals of Delacroix. 21 At the same time as he supported French art, John Lyman was opposed to what he felt to be the xenophobic nationalism of Canadian art. To those who feared the taint of foreign art, Lyman replied, 'The talk of the Canadian scene has gone sour. The real Canadian scene is in the consciousness of Canadian painters, whatever the object of their thought.’ 22
The Atelier survived only two winters, 23 though for a few summers, John Lyman ran a school at his Saint-Jovite farm in the Laurentians. 24 He also continued to lecture on art, at one point addressing the Quebec Library Association with Charles Maillard, director of the École des Beaux-Arts. Maillard called for the removal from libraries of all literature hindering 'the true appreciation of art,' 25 and Lyman stressed the necessity of exposure to all new developments. 26
From 1936 to 1940 John Lyman wrote a monthly art column for The Montrealer 27 commenting on developments in Canadian art, linking these with international trends, and offering some of the most intelligent writing on art in Canada at that time. He was especially instrumental in stressing the importance of annual exhibitions of contemporary French art held at the galleries of W. Scott & Sons. 28 These exhibitions, organized in conjunction with Alex. Reid & Lefevre Limited in London and brought to Montreal by John Heaton, 29 offered Montrealers some of the first works by Matisse, Modigliani, Léger, Braque, Derain, Dufy, and Picasso seen in that city. These exhibitions played an important rôle in developing an interest in international developments in painting and determining future trends in Montreal.
John Lyman's own painting during the thirties developed in a sure and logical manner. Haying by the Lake (1933, cat. no. 88) is one of a series of landscapes painted at Saint-Jovite which he entitled 'Variations on the Lake.' 30 Confronted by the wilder aspects of the Canadian terrain, he organizes its shapes so that it has almost the aspect of classical landscape. There is no hint of the more romantic moods of the Group of Seven, but a serene vision of light-modulated forms.
It was above all the human figure, in all its multiplicity of moods and forms, that interested Lyman. The smoothly flowing brush-work and glowing colour asserts the plastic qualities of the forms in The Card Game (c. 1935, cat. no. 89). The sombre tones and vibrating colour of Jori Smith in Costume (1936, cat. no. 90) contrasts with the severe verticals and horizontals of the patrician Woman With White Collar ( c. 1936, cat. no. 91). The same, broad, horizontal brushstroke is used in Lassitude (c. 1937, cat. no. 92) accentuating the essentially architectonic quality of Lyman's art which is saved from stiffness by the vibrating bronze of the skin.
John Lyman's painting is not easily appreciated. His colour has an almost puritan reticence, his subjects are serious and detached. At times an awkward stiffness does appear in his work; yet at its best, his is an art of sobriety, order, and measure. He builds a solid construction which is made to last.
John Lyman recognized that there were newer artists working in Montreal who were cut off from the 'Canadian scene' painting that dominated in Toronto and who found no support from public institutions. In contrast to the apparent xenophobia of the Group, he found among the newer artists an openness to European art. As he commented, 'In Quebec and generally in the east, possibly because we are accustomed to contacts, painters have never been greatly disturbed by the danger of influence. They have willingly recognized alien qualities and have hoped the example might be of use to them. They have tried to assimilate its fundamental lessons but they have not been inclined to imitation. What they have learned, they have made their own.' 31 Some of these artists were European-born and recent arrivals in Canada. Others had studied in Europe or the United States and were producing work unrelated to the Group tradition.
One of the first artists John Lyman championed was Goodridge Roberts. On visiting an exhibition of Roberts's watercolours at The Arts Club in Montreal, 32 John Lyman wrote him, 'I knew by my elation that I had seen real stuff. I like your work immensely for its terse characterization in drawing and particularly for your rare ability to see colour, not merely use it illustratively or as a schematic ornament.' 33 This was important praise for an artist who had been working almost completely unknown and in total poverty for the last two years.
Roberts, nephew of the poet Sir Charles G.D. Roberts and cousin of the poet Bliss Carman, was raised in New Brunswick, except for a period during the First World War when the family moved to England. He entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal in 1923 and in the fall of 1926 went to New York to study at the Art Students League. Boardman Robinson, John Sloan, and Max Weber introduced him to Cézanne, Giotto, and Masaccio. In the galleries for the first time he saw the works of Matisse and Picasso. 34
Returning to Canada, Roberts worked for a year in Fredericton and in the summer of 1930 moved to Ottawa. He taught that winter at the Ottawa Art Association and the following summer, with two friends, conducted a school at Wakefield near Hull. 35
It was in the summer of 1932, working at Kingsmere, near Wakefield, that Roberts 'got beyond the tentative stage of experiment and suddenly found [himself] doing one watercolour after another with feverish speed.' 36 The rapid assessment and simplification demanded by the five-minute sketches in John Sloan's classes now paid off. These watercolours were exhibited later that fall at The Arts Club in Montreal where they attracted the attention of Cleveland Morgan and John Lyman. The latter invited him to participate in the Atelier exhibition the following spring. 37 The exhibition resulted in some of his first sales and brought his work to the attention of a small though interested and knowledgeable public.
These few years in Ottawa were difficult ones for Goodridge Roberts. Living on $1.50 a week left no money for oils, so he confined himself to watercolour. At times, while painting, he would be too weak to continue and would have to lie down in the fields to recoup his strength. However, as Jacques de Tonnancour has written: 'He lost five teeth, his strength for several months . . . and survived. He had supported his painting and had been able to give it life. That had been enough for him and had carried him through. He was a painter; that was his strength.' 38
During the summer of 1933 he worked just east of Ottawa. The watercolours he produced, such as Ottawa Valley (1933, cat. no. 93), are more intricate than those of the previous year. He builds up the space with layers of colour, purples, greens, browns, and blacks so that even the sky becomes a plastic entity. The watercolour suffuses the open landscape with a unity of mood through carefully coordinated tones.
In November 1933, through the assistance of Harry McCurry, Assistant Director of The National Gallery, and with a grant from the Carnegie Corporation, Roberts was appointed resident artist at Queen's University in Kingston and was able to marry. He disliked teaching and had little time to paint. 39 After three years, the Carnegie grant was discontinued 40 and the Robertses moved to Montreal, where Goodridge opened a school with Ernst Neumann, whom he had known since his days at the École des Beaux-Arts. 41 Though pupils were few, the school survived two or three winters.
From 1932 to 1940 Goodridge Roberts had twelve solo exhibitions in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto 42 and participated in numerous group exhibitions, yet sales were almost non-existent. He had difficulty raising the money even for framing and shipping. 43 In the fall of 1940 he returned to institutional teaching, this time at the Art Association of Montreal. 44
With the temporary security of money saved while at Queen's, Roberts returned to oil painting with an ever-increasing surety. In Ontario Landscape in a Red Light (1936, cat. no. 94), painted on the outskirts of Ottawa in September 1936, he simplifies the shapes of the trees and receding fields and hills, concentrating on the relationship of the forms. As in the earlier watercolours, a single dominant tone pervades the whole picture, creating a feeling of rich melancholy. 45
As in the work of Giotto, whom he so much admired, Roberts's figures are solemn and monumental. In Marian (1937, cat. no. 95) the strongly sculptural quality of the figure is reinforced by the verticals and horizontals of the background playing against the Matisse-like pattern of the dress. The strong division between shadows and light on the face, perhaps derived from John Lyman's work, asserts its plastic solidity.
The silhouette of the Standing Nude (1938, cat. no. 96) is less simplified, formed of more subtle curves. The strong contrasts of darks and lights, and of freely brushed forms with flat solid planes, creates dynamic tensions in this complex figure. Comparing this work with John Lyman's Jori Smith in Costume (cat. no. 90) opposes intuition and reason. The latter is surely and intelligently constructed with utmost control. Roberts paints with freedom and passion. The shadows are sombre, almost mysterious and, at the same time, beautifully sensuous. As Neufville Shaw has remarked, 'In Lyman, one's eye is directed by the drawing to follow the arabesque of line as it encloses mass or limits colour. In Roberts, one is tossed from mass to mass. The one is all grace and certainty; the other is all imminence and indefiniteness. Lyman leaves little to chance, Roberts everything.' 46
The sombre moods of Roberts's work take on a quite different character in the paintings of Philip Surrey. Surrey left Vancouver in October 1936 47 to study anatomical drawing at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; 48 however, unable to enter the class, he went to the Art Students League in New York where he studied three months with Frank Vincent Dumond and painting techniques with Alexander Abels. He moved to Montreal that spring, doing freelance commercial work for a year until he found employment with the Montreal Standard as photograph editor. 49
Philip Surrey's painting in Montreal changed considerably from his earlier Vancouver work. The Boardwalk (c. 1938, cat. no. 97) still retains much of the Varley lyricism with its misty blues and greens. The solidly painted shadows on the boardwalk, abruptly projecting from the foreground, similar to the mast of Varley's Night Ferry, Vancouver (cat. no. 40), catches some of the menacing quality of his later work.
Surrey's New York experience, the Depression, and his contacts in Montreal, pulled him away from lyrical painting to more socially involved themes. With Jean Paul Lemieux and Jori Smith he shared a concern for political developments both in Quebec and Spain. His recognition of a growing malaise and the imminence of conflict is reflected in his art. The gaunt and awkward figures in Sunday Afternoon (1939, cat. no. 98), painted from memory of a veillée at Saint-Hilarion which he attended with the Palardys, are isolated, each caught in his or her own tragic situation. He paints with less fluidity and more concern for structure, accentuating the macabre reality of the individual sitters.
In The Red Portrait (1939, cat. no. 99), a Gothic arch of light emanates from the window framing the sitter. The rough texture of the paint, the isolation of the figure, and the hollow space of the empty room express the feeling of dislocation and tension felt by many on the eve of war. The simplified forms of the buildings and increased solidity of the forms reflect Surrey's debt to Goodridge Roberts.
Fritz Brandtner, born and educated in Danzig, emigrated to Canada in 1928. In Winnipeg he first worked as a house-painter but soon found employment with the T. Eaton Co. and from there with Brigden's of Winnipeg Limited working on the Eaton's catalogues. With his savings and the sponsorship of LeMoine FitzGerald he was able to bring out his fiancée the following year. 50
While Winnipeg offered steady employment, Brandtner found few outlets for his work. Being paid so little, he couldn't afford the cost of framing and shipping his work east for exhibition. 51 FitzGerald recommended he go to Montreal recognizing that Montreal would be more open to experimental art than Toronto which was still so strongly tied to the Group of Seven. 52
The Brandtners arrived in Montreal in March 1934 53 and he soon found work in window display for the T. Eaton Co. 54 FitzGerald had given him an introduction to Robert Ayre, art critic for the Montreal Gazette and, through the Ayres, Fritz met many of the newer Montreal artists. 55
The first work Fritz Brandtner exhibited in Montreal was purchased by Norman Bethune; 56 he made contact with the artist and from there developed a close friendship. Brandtner for several years had been doing drawings and watercolours, similar to Men of 1939 (1939, cat. no. 100), in a style often reminiscent of George Grosz. Drawings in vivid coloured inks of unemployed men on park benches, blind fiddlers, workers locked out of factories, families in gas masks, victims of chemical warfare – all these appealed to Bethune, both in their subject matter and their intensity of expression. He arranged an exhibition of Brandtner's work at Morgan's department store in February 1936 under the sponsorship of The Canadian League Against War and Fascism. 57 The exhibition received a mixed reaction. Robert Ayre in The Gazette praised his inventiveness and strength. 58 Henri Girard in Le Canada called Brandtner, 'one of the most remarkable artists, the artists worthy of our respect, who have ever lived in Montreal.' 59 However, Reynald of La Presse, in a long article entitled 'The Nightmares of F. Brandtner,' raised a cry of horror: 'Brandtner rejects the canons of drawing, the rules of colouring, conventions and fixed laws. For him the world exists only in the image and as a resemblance of nightmares and hallucinations.' 60 Fritz Brandtner had arrived.
Brandtner's work at this time shows a great variety both in subject matter and style with an intensity of colour and line that is very personal. Much of it is small in format, as he had little money for materials and drew continuously. However, it is often these small works that are most successful, for they retain the directness of expression and strength of line sometimes lost in larger works. He absorbed, reproduced and transformed themes and styles of many different artists, mostly from artists whose work he knew in Germany, such as George Grosz, Erich Waske, Heinrich Naven, or Wilhelm Morgener. 61 The gas-masked figures from Diego Rivera's Detroit Institute murals reappear in his drawings.
His familiarity with modern European art as well as the speed of execution and inventiveness, which he also incorporated into his commercial art, gave his work a great freedom and strength. In his representational works, such as The Riders (1939, cat. no. 101), as well as in Abstraction (1936, cat. no. 102), totally devoid of all figurative references, he organizes flat planes, geometric patterns, and Expressionist line into a dynamically integrated whole.
This same daring and freedom he passed on to the children in his classes. Late in the summer of 1936 Norman Bethune invited Fritz Brandtner to set up children's classes in his apartment on Beaver Hall Square. 62 Bethune paid for the materials and the Children's Art Centre was opened. However, Bethune soon left for Spain; 63 the Brandtners moved into the apartment, and Fritz supported the Centre himself. He conducted classes for children from the poorer areas of the city and in the hospitals, 64 offering them their first opportunity to work with freedom, breaking away from mechanical reproduction.
Marian Scott taught with Fritz Brandtner at the Children's Art Centre for two years. 65 She had studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal for one year and then for a term at the Slade School of Art in London. Returning to Canada in 1928 she married Frank Scott. The birth of a son the following year prevented her from devoting herself to her art. 66 It was only after the mid-thirties that she had time to paint.
Marian Scott's earliest works consisted of geometrically organized landscapes. These were followed by formal studies of plants and buds in various stages of growth, inspired by the work of Georgia O'Keeffe. Through the exhibitions at W. Scott & Sons and periodicals she developed an interest in the linear stylization of Modigliani's figures and the ambiguous, spatial relationships of Juan Gris' cubist works.
At the same time, Marian Scott, like so many other artists in the thirties, felt a need somehow to relate her work to the social issues of the day, to break down the barrier between contemporary art and the people and be integrated with the society at large. 67 She turned away from landscape and organic subjects to urban scenes, ships in harbour, people on escalators, and workers in the streets. In Escalator (1937, cat. no. 103) the environment is mechanized, the people shifted on conveyor belts. The concern for the movement of figures in space and differing spatial relationships is also seen in Tenants ( c. 1940, cat. no. 104) where the figures retain a greater individuality, even in their anonymity. Just as in the work of Oskar Schlemmer, the human figure becomes a symbol of a humanist philosophy within a rational environment.
If Marian Scott's reaction to her urban environment was based on a rationalist faith, Louis Muhlstock's derived from a more immediate sensuous and romantic identification. Born in the province of Galicia in Poland, Louis Muhlstock came to Canada with his family in 1911 at the age of seven. He first took drawing lessons in evening courses at the Monument National in Montreal under Edmond Dyonnet and later at the École des Beaux-Arts, all this time working for his family's fruit importing firm, saving money to enable him to study in Paris. He spent three years in France, from 1928 to 1931, studying with Louis François Biloul in Paris, with summers in Brittany (1929) and Belgium and the Alps (1930). 68
Returning to Canada at the outset of the Depression, Louis Muhlstock again found employment with his family's firm. Having little money for materials, he drew during his free time – studies of unemployed men he picked up on the street, men sleeping in the parks or ill or elderly people. For a period around 1932 he frequented the public wards of hospitals drawing patients with incurable diseases. 69 Interpreted with compassion and love, Louis Muhlstock transforms their suffering into symbols of human dignity and pride in the face of destruction. Death and suffering are always present but also an enduring faith in life.
With the materials available, Louis Muhlstock did continue to paint the back lanes in the area around his Sainte-Famille Street apartment, dead trees on Mount Royal, or empty rooms in abandoned houses. In Sainte-Famille Street (1939, cat. no. 105), the streets and lanes are devoid of people, expressing the quiet calm of early summer mornings. Of the empty rooms, Muhlstock wrote, 'What intrigued me was the feeling of rooms that had been lived in. To try to express the silence of a room that was something I wanted very much to arrive at and at the same time to play with shapes on canvas, to create a composition and to play with structures and textures.' 70 The musty drabness of Open Door of Third House, Groubert Lane, Montreal (c. 1939, cat. no. 106) is transformed by the fluid texture and play of light. The compassionate humanism of his figure drawings pervades these empty urban scenes, evoking their former inhabitants by their very abandonment.
Alexandre Bercovitch and Eric Goldberg both arrived in Canada via Germany and Palestine. Bercovitch was born in Cherson in the Ukraine and studied four years in Palestine and one year in Munich under Franz von Stuck. 71 He returned to Russia and designed stage sets for the Moscow Art Theatre under Leon Bakst. 72 In 1924 he moved to Turkestan where he opened an art school in Ashkabad. 73 However, famines and political strife forced him to leave Russia two years later to join his wife's family in Montreal.
At first he supported his family in Montreal by painting signs and decorations for cabarets, churches, and synagogues. However, jobs were harder and harder to find. When he was about to be evicted from his apartment, his social worker, Regina Shoolman, 74 put him in touch with Sidney Carter who offered him an exhibition and temporary reprieve. 75 He later found work teaching at the Y.W.H.A.
He continued to design stage sets for Yiddish theatre groups and for productions put on by various leftist political groups, though more from an interest in theatre than political conviction. 76 In 1935, with financial assistance from Vincent Massey, 77 he made his first trip to the Gaspé, to which he was often to return.
Alexandre Bercovitch's work at this time consisted of naturalistic depictions of city streets, Expressionist stage sets, Impressionist Gaspé landscapes, and dramatic portraits and character studies of his family and friends. In The Artist's Family (1934, cat. no. 107) the roughly applied paint has an Expressionist intensity, accentuated by the confinement and monumentality of the figures.
The forceful plastic and Expressionist qualities of Bercovitch's work contrasts with the gentle romanticism of Eric Goldberg's paintings. Born in Berlin, Goldberg studied first with Lovis Corinth and later at the Académie Julian in Paris from 1906 to 1910, at the same time as John Lyman, A.Y. Jackson, and Randolph Hewton. 78 He returned to Berlin and after the war travelled and painted in France, Spain, and Palestine. In 1928 he married the Montreal artist Regina Seiden and for the next eight years alternated between Montreal and Europe.
Eric Goldberg's painting has a very lyrical quality, reminiscent of Jules Pascin. In Tossa del Mar ( c. 1934, cat. no. 108) all is suggestion rather than statement. Reducing the elements to their basic shapes, he creates a colour poem of misty forms and spacious landscapes.
Despite the high quality of their work, these artists had little chance to exhibit. Their paintings were consistently rejected by the juries for Montreal exhibitions, the Royal Canadian Academy, and the Spring Exhibition at the Art Association, and, unlike the Toronto community, there was little cooperative effort among Montreal artists.
John Lyman first brought the newer artists together in an exhibition at The Arts Club in February 1937. 79 That autumn Fritz Brandtner arranged another Salon des Indépendants at the annual Produced in Canada Exhibition. 80 In the spring of 1938, the Eastern Group of Painters was formed, the first exhibition being held at the galleries of W. Scott & Sons in November. 81
The members of the new group included John Lyman, Alexandre Bercovitch, Eric Goldberg, Goodridge Roberts, Jack Humphrey, 82 and Jori Smith. As John Lyman had stated in his column in The Montrealer, what characterized the 'eastern' artists was their openness to European influence. At the same time there is a pervasive mood in the work of all these artists, be it the colour-saturated landscapes of Roberts and Goldberg or the moody figure studies and portraits by Lyman, Bercovitch, Humphrey, Smith, and Roberts. A similar tone pervades the work of Philip Surrey who replaced Jack Humphrey as the sixth member of the group the following year. 83
John Lyman was not alone in supporting more international developments in Canada. Maurice Gagnon, Ottawa-born and graduate of the University of Paris and the École du Louvre, returned to teach in Montreal in 1935. 84 In La Revue Moderne, 85 and in lectures 86 he outlined and publicized the development of contemporary French art. He began teaching art history at the École du Meuble in 1937, joining Marcel Parizeau, also Paris-trained and professor of architecture, and Paul-Émile Borduas, the newly appointed instructor of drawing and decoration. 87
Born in Saint-Hilaire near Montreal, Paul-Émile Borduas first discovered the world of art through the decorations of Ozias Leduc in the village church. In 1920, at the age of fifteen, he apprenticed himself to Ozias Leduc and for the next seven years assisted him in his work, at the same time attending the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal. Graduating in 1927, he taught for a year and, in November 1928, with financial assistance from Monseigneur Olivier Maurault and Ozias Leduc, left for France. 88
In Paris he studied five months at the École des Arts Sacrés, the school directed by Maurice Denis and George Desvallières, and, in April 1929, left Paris to travel in Brittany, Alsace, and Lorraine. After a winter assisting in various church decorations, including the installations of the windows by the Dominican Marie-Alain Couturier at Chaillon, he returned to Montreal in June 1930. 89
After two years of fruitless attempts to obtain commissions for church decorations,' 90 he returned to teaching at the Collège André Grasset and for the Catholic School Commission. 91 In 1937 he sought a teaching position at the École des Beaux-Arts in Quebec. However, Jean Paul Lemieux obtained the post and Borduas replaced him at the École du Meuble. 92
Teaching long hours left little time for his own work. Of his painting in the thirties, Borduas wrote, 'Studio work is soul-destroying. Out of six years of determined work only ten canvases are worth a thing. And I recognize that those ten are happy accidents impossible to repeat.' 93 His early work shows a strong influence of Maurice Denis, very decorative with a gentle romanticism. However by 1937 there is greater concern for structure and for the plastic qualities of paint. In the Portrait of Maurice Gagnon (1937, cat. no. 109), 94 the structure of the vest and broad lapels, and the richness of brown becoming sensuous texture in the background, show Borduas slowly progressing to a more personal and studied expression.
Teaching children guided Borduas to the freedom of creative painting. 95 At the same time, with John Lyman, 96 Marcel Parizeau, and Maurice Gagnon he studied the history of art, seeking the principles and forms that unite the art of the past to the present. 97 In his own work to 1941 there occurs a form of rattrapage ('catching up') from Maurice Denis to Cézanne to Picasso and Braque and finally to Surrealism. 98 However, it is only with the arrival of Pellan in 1940 that Borduas was to accelerate his development leading to the gouaches of 1941 – 1942.
With the increasing artistic activity in Montreal and the large number of artists excluded from the Eastern Group, 99 it was apparent that a larger society was needed to incorporate progressive artists of divergent trends and to further the cause of modern art.
John Lyman first mentioned the idea for such an organization in an article published in the fall of 1938 in which he lamented the lack of financial and moral support given the finest contemporary artists. 100 In the unpublished closing line, he wrote, 'We badly need active organizations in support of creative art such as the Contemporary Arts [sic] Society in England and numerous ones in the United States.' 101
The British Contemporary Art Society 102 had been formed in 1910 'to bring to light young and rising talent . . .; to purchase, for the benefit of the public, works by artists of acknowledged power who are not properly represented in the [public] Galleries; and by its loan and presentations to spread throughout the country the knowledge and appreciation of modern art.' 103 John Lyman recognized that a similar organization in Montreal could further the cause of contemporary art and financially assist the artists.
In January 1939 104 the Contemporary Arts Society 105 was formed and by May had twenty-six artist members. 106 John Lyman was president, Paul-Émile Borduas, vice-president, Fritz Brandtner, secretary, and Philip Surrey, treasurer. 107 All the artist members were from Montreal except for Jack Humphrey, though Fritz Brandtner did invite André Biéler, 108 Paraskeva Clark, 109 and LeMoine FitzGerald 110 to join. All refused.
The Contemporary Arts Society was not solely an artists' organization. It also sought to foster the development of a living, progressive art alive to contemporary life. 'It took exactly the position of an anti-academy, putting emphasis on the living quality of art – on imagination, sensitivity, intuition, and spontaneity as opposed to conventional proficiency, regarding membership in an academy as merely a consolation for having died during one's own lifetime.' 111 An associate membership was created for non-artists 'to give support to contemporary trends in art and to further the artistic interests of its members . . . .' 112 To encourage sales of works, a discount was available to members and a picture-loan system organized. 113
To fulfill its educational rôle, the first exhibition arranged by the Contemporary Arts Society was entitled Art of Our Day 114 and consisted of non-Canadian modern works borrowed from Montreal collectors. 115 The works in the exhibition reflected Lyman's preferences in contemporary art – Derain, Dufy, Frances Hodgkins, Modigliani, and Matthew Smith – as well as the limitations of local collections. 116 While not 'the first adequate representation in Canada of Modern work by leading foreign artists,' 117 it did signal the beginnings of a united effort for contemporary art and the invasion of the conservative halls of the Art Association.
The following autumn an exhibition of paintings by artist-members of the Contemporary Arts Society was held at the Stevens Art Gallery, 118 and in November 1940 a third exhibition of works by members of the Canadian Group of Painters and Contemporary Arts Society. 119 However, the battle was not to be fought without some token opposition. Even before the opening of Art of Our Day Clarence Gagnon lashed out in a talk entitled 'The Grand Bluff – Modernistic Art' given to the conservative Pen and Pencil Club, 120 drawing an assertive reply from John Lyman full of references to heavy-weight supporters of contemporary art and a more reasoned response from Marcel Parizeau. 121 Most of the journalistic response, however, was extremely favourable.
Apart from Robert Ayre, most of the coverage and interest in the development of the Contemporary Arts Society was coming from French-language writers, 122 who soon commented on the lack of French-Canadian artists in the group. 123 Of all the members only four were French-speaking: Paul-Émile Borduas, Stanley Cosgrove, Louise Gadbois, and Jean Palardy. However, political, literary, and artistic developments were eventually to transform the Contemporary Arts Society into one of the leading forces in French-Canadian cultural life.
Jean-Charles Harvey founded the newspaper Le Jour in 1937 with a nationalist ideology designed to bring the culture of Quebec out of its provincialism into the mainstream of world developments. He denounced the soul-destroying education of the École des Beaux-Arts and the isolationism of its director, Charles Maillard, 124 calling upon the artists to break away from regionalist local colour, ceinture fléchée, and habitants, to seek a non-colonial universal expression. 'If French Canadians have been so mediocre in arts and letters, it is not for want of talent but from a lack of freedom. They have been subjugated. For one hundred years they have been subjected to an intellectual fascism which has annihilated them . . . .' 125 'Art must be revolutionary or nothing, in the sense that, at the risk of dying, it must incessantly search for all the formulas of beauty and all aspects of beauty.' 126
In contrast to the 'lack of audacity, of personality, and genuine sensitivity' of the Anciens de l'École des Beaux-Arts 127 was Alfred Pellan, a rising Quebec star in France. In the two years before his return from France, large Pellan exhibitions were periodically predicted. 128 Here was not only a local boy who made good, but a Quebecker who had left behind regionalist clichés to discover 'a Paris enriched by centuries of refinement.' 129 To the critics of internationalism, Jean Paul Lemieux wrote, 'Pellan is reproached for being an internationalist, for not having remained Canadian. Why should he be content with folklore images when he could go further? Why confine art within petty limits? Is not art universal?' 130
To find the universal through subjective expression, to link the intellectual life of Quebec to the source of twentieth-century ideas in France, not in colonial servitude but in an alliance of spirit, this was the direction of the forties. With the arrival of Père Marie-Alain Couturier in March 1940 131 and Alfred Pellan in May 132 the stage was set.
1. Jehanne Biétry Salinger, 'The Group of Seven,' The Canadian Forum, vol. XII, no. 136 (January 1932), pp. 142 – 143.
2. John Lyman, 'Letter to the Editor: Canadian Art,' The Canadian Forum, vol. XII, no. 140 (May 1932), p. 313.
3. Edward P. Lawson, 'Chronology,' John Lyman (exhibition catalogue) (Montreal: The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1963).
4. Philip Hendy, Matthew Smith (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1944), p.7.
5. Matthew Smith (London: George Allen and Unwin Limited, 1962).
6. Edward P. Lawson, op. cit. John Lyman stated he attended the school during its final year. See John Lyman, 'Adieu Matisse,' Canadian Art, vol. XII, no. 2 (Winter 1955), p. 45. However, the school did not close until the summer of 1911. See Alfred H. Barr, Jr, Matisse: His Art And His Public (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1951), p. 117.
7. Montreal, Art Association of Montreal, 21 – 31 May 1913, Exhibition of Paintings & Drawings by John G. Lyman.
8. Montreal, Art Association of Montreal, to 7 March 1913, [R.S. Hewton and A. Y. Jackson].
9. New York, Sixty-Ninth Regiment Armory, 17 February – 15 March 1913, International Exhibition of Modern Art.
10. They had also bitterly denounced John Lyman's works included in the Annual Spring Exhibition the previous month. For excerpts from the critical reaction, see Edward P. Lawson, op. cit.; also Paul Dumas, 'Lyman,' Le Quartier Latin, vol. XXVI, no. 11 (17 December 1943), p. III.
11.Edward P. Lawson, op. cit.
12. Montreal, the Johnson Art Galleries Ltd., 1 – 15 October 1927, Exhibition of Recent Paintings and Drawings by John Lyman.
13. John Lyman, 'Journal,' vol. I, entry for 3 August ; in the Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec, Montreal.
14. John Lyman, 'Journal,' vol. II, entries for 17 August  at Sainte-Pétronille, Île d'Orléans; 5 September  at Montreal; in the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, Montreal.
15. Montreal, W. Scott & Sons, [February 1931], Exhibition of Paintings by John Lyman.
16. John Lyman, 'Journal,' vol. II, entry for 28 September  at Outremont; in the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, Montreal.
17. Among others attending these weekly gatherings were Frank and Marian Scott, Jeannette and André Biéler, Hazen Sise, Elizabeth Frost, Ronald McCall, Cleveland Morgan, John and Florence Byrd, Jacques Biéler, and John Humphrey.
18. 'School Of Art Is Formed By Group,' Montreal Gazette (17 November 1931).
19. Hazen Sise graduated in 1929 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his degree in February 1930. He went to Paris and worked for a short period in Le Corbusier's architectural office. In the fall of 1930 he went to New York and worked for Howe and Lescaze, returning to Montreal in the autumn of 1931. (Interview with Hazen Sise, Ottawa, 1 February 1974).
20. The Atelier: A School of Drawing Painting Sculpture (pamphlet, n.d.).
21. Interview with Allan Harrison, Montreal, 13 September 1973. Allan Harrison was massier at the Atelier – responsible for arranging the classes and timing the poses of the models.
22. John Lyman, 'Art,' The Montrealer (1 February 1938).
23. Two exhibitions of works by staff members and invited contributots were held: Montreal, Henry Morgan & Company, 29 March – 9 April 1932, André Biéler, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Elizabeth Frost, Edwin H. Holgate, George Holt, John Lyman; Montreal, Henry Morgan & Company, 1 – 13 May 1933, André Biéler, Elizabeth Frost, George Holt, John Lyman, Goodridge Roberts.
24. The Lyman Summer Art Class, 2 July to 10 September 1935, Pamphlet. Harold Beament also taught with John Lyman this summer.
25. Montreal Gazette (23 January 1934).
26. The typescript of John Lyman's talk is among the Lyman Papers in the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, Montreal.
27. See section Selected Bibliography: John Lyman in Bibliography.
28. Montreal, W. Scott & Sons, December 1934, French Paintings by the Impressionists and Modern Artists; Montreal, W. Scott & Sons, March 1936, Exhibition of French Paintings / Renoir and His Contemporaries; Montreal, W. Scott & Sons, October 1936, Exhibition of Modern French Paintings / The School of Paris; Montreal, W. Scott & Sons, October 1937, Exhibition of Paintings by French Masters of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries; Montreal, W. Scott & Sons, October 1938, Paintings By French Masters, 'Delacroix to Dufy.'
29. John Heaton took over W. Scott & Sons about 1930 from his father Frank Heaton, the son-in-law of William Scott. See 'Frank R. Heaton Dies in 74th Year,' Montreal Gazette (23 October 1939). The firm held an auction of their stock in April 1938 (Montreal, Fraser Bros., Ltd., [April 1938], Greatest Art Auction in Montreal's History . . . Comprising The Entire Stock of Messrs. W. Scott & Sons), moving to new quarters that fall and closing permanently the next spring. See St. George Burgoyne, 'W. Scott & Sons Leaving Business as Art Dealers in Firm's 80th Year,' Montreal Gazette(4 March 1939).
30. 'Variations on the Lake' exhibited Montreal, W. Scott & Sons, 6 – 20 February 1937, Exhibition of Paintings by John Lyman, nos. 36 – 42.
31. John Lyman, 'Art,' The Montrealer (1 February 1938).
32. Montreal, The Arts Club, 31 October – 18 November 1932, Exhibition of Water Color Paintings by Goodridge Roberts.
33. Jacques G. de Tonnancour, Roberts (Montreal: L'Arbre, 1944), p. 15, n. 1.
34. James Borcoman, Goodridge Roberts (exhibition catalogue) (Ottawa: The National Gallery of Canada, 1969), pp. 44 – 45.
36. Goodridge Roberts, 'From This Point I Looked Out,' Queen's Quarterly (Autumn 1953), p. 320. Reprinted in James Borcoman, op. cit., p. 188. All references will be to the reprint edition.
37. Montreal, Henry Morgan & Company, 1 – 13 May 1933, André Biéler, Elizabeth Frost, George Holt, John Lyman, Goodridge Roberts.
38. Jacques G. de Tonnancour, op. cit., p. 14.
39. Goodridge Roberts, op. cit., p. 192.
40. Marian Roberts, Kingston, to Kathleen Fenwick, Ottawa, 27 August ; in The National Gallery of Canada.
41. Ernst Neumann, 'Canadian Artists of Today / Wm. Goodridge Roberts,' New Frontier, vol. I, no. 4 (July 1936), p. 30.
42. James Borcoman, op. cit., pp. 45 – 46.
43. Goodridge Roberts, Montreal, to H.O. McCurry, Ottawa, 15 June 1940; in The National Gallery of Canada.
44. Robert Ayre, 'Art in Montreal is Given New and Vigorous Life,' Saturday Night, vol. lvi, no. 10 (16 November 1940), p. 19.
45. This melancholia appears in Roberts's poetry also. 'Beneath my feet the spring of life is gushing; Above my head the bird of death is winging.' (Goodridge Roberts, op. cit., p. 189.)
46. Neufville Shaw, 'Goodridge Roberts – 1949,' Northern Review, vol. III, no. 1 (October–November 1949), p. 27.
47. Interview with Philip Surrey, Montreal, 14 September 1973.
48. Robert Ayre, 'The City and the Dream of Philip Surrey,' Canadian Art, vol. XXI, no. 5 (September – October 1964), p. 284.
49. Interview with Philip Surrey, Montreal, 14 September 1973.
50. Interview with Mrs Mieze Brandtner, Montreal, 12 September 1973.
51. Fritz Brandtner, Winnipeg, to Eric Brown, Ottawa, 27 December 1932; in The National Gallery of Canada.
52. J. Russell Harper, Fritz Brandtner 1896 – 1969 (exhibition catalogue) (Montreal: Sir George Williams University, 1971), p. 15.
53. Fritz Brandtner, Montreal, to L.L. FitzGerald, Winnipeg, 4 April 1934; private property.
54. Interview with Mrs Mieze Brandtner, Montreal, 12 September 1973.
55. Fritz Brandtner, Montreal, to L.L. FitzGerald, Winnipeg, 4 April 1934; private property.
56. Interview with Mrs Mieze Brandtner, Montreal, 12 September 1973. The painting was Sunflower and was exhibited at the Art Association of Montreal, 19 April – 13 May 1934, 51st Spring Exhibition, no. 38. It is presently in the collection of Mr Edward Schneerer, Montreal.
57. Montreal, Henry Morgan & Company, 15 – 29 February 1936, Exhibition of Paintings by Fritz Brandtner.
58. R.H.A. [Robert Ayre], 'Fritz Brandtner's Work is Exhibited,' Montreal Gazette (15 February 1936). Reprinted as 'Art-Expressionist in Montreal,' New Frontier, vol. I, no. 2 (May 1936), pp. 29 – 30.
59. Henri Girard, 'La Vie Artistique – Fritz Brandtner,' Le Canada (26 February 1936).
60. Reynald [E.R. Bertrand], 'Les cauchemars de F. Brandtner,' La Presse (22 February 1936).
61. Fritz Brandtner brought with him to Canada a series of monograph booklets on modern German and French artists through which he continually refamiliarized himself with their work. There was no contemporary German art being exhibited in Canada at this time.
62. Graham C. McInnes, 'The World of Art,' Saturday Night, vol. LII, no. 6 (12 December 1936), p. 19.
63. Roderick Stewart, Bethune (Toronto: New Press, 1973), p. 91. Norman Bethune left for Spain on 24 October 1936.
64. 'Kids and Paints,' Montreal Standard (10 September 1938).
65. Interview with Marian Scott, Montreal, 15 September 1973.
67. Marian Scott, 'Science as an Inspiration to Art,' Canadian Art, vol. I, no. 1 (October – November 1943), p. 19.
68. Interview with Louis Muhlstock, Montreal, 15 September 1973.
69. The 'Paranka' drawings were done at this time.
70. Laurence Sabbath, 'Artists in Action Series: 1, Louis Muhlstock with Lawrence Sabbath,' Canadian Art, vol. XVII, no. 4 (July 1960), p. 219.
71. 'Alexandre Bercovitch,' The National Gallery of Canada Information Form, [received 9 May 1932]. According to John Lyman, Bercovitch also studied under Eric Goldberg's father, a portrait painter in Berlin. See John Lyman, 'Art,' The Montrealer (15 April 1938).
72. Interview with Sylvia (Bercovitch) Ary, Montreal, 11 September 1973.
73. 'Alexandre Bercovitch,' The National Gallery of Canada Information Form, 16 June 1942.
74. Regina Shoolman later married Charles Slatkin, owner of the Slatkin Gallery in New York City. They co-authored The Enjoyment of Art in America (Philadelphia, New York: Lippincott, 1942).
75. 'Eviction of Artist Brings Recognition,' Montreal Daily Herald (7 April 1933).
76. Interview with Sylvia (Bercovitch) Ary, Montreal, 11 September 1973.
77. Alexandre Bercovitch, Montreal, to Mrs Vincent Massey, Ottawa, 22 November 1935; in The National Gallery of Canada.
78. John Lyman, 'Art,' The Montrealer (15 April 1938). Eric Goldberg is the blond boy with glasses seated second from the right in the second row in the photograph of the Académie Julian reproduced in Dennis Reid, The Group of Seven (exhibition catalogue) (Ottawa: The National Gallery of Canada, 1970), p. 23.
79. Robert Ayre, 'Two Exhibitions,' The Montrealer (February 1937). This exhibition included works by Prudence Heward, Sarah Robertson, Mabel Lockerby, Jack Humphrey, Jori Smith, Jean Palardy, Goodridge Roberts, Fritz Brandtner, and Marian Scott.
80. [Montreal, Sun Life Building, National Produced in Canada Exhibition, November 1937], Art Exhibition. The catalogue lists the following artists: Alexandre Bercovitch, Sam Borenstein, Fritz Brandtner, Marian Scott, Allan Harrison, Prudence Heward, Jack Humphrey, John Lyman, Carl Mangold, Louis Muhlstock, Goodridge Roberts, Sarah Robertson, Jori Smith, and Philip Surrey.
81. Robert Ayre, 'The Eastern Group Has a Show,' Saturday Night, vol. liv, no. 7 (17 December 1938), p. 36.
82. Jack Humphrey had contacted the Montreal artists during his stay in 1933. It is also possible he visited Montreal in 1937. (Interview with Jori Smith, Montreal, 16 January 1974.)
83. John Lyman, Montreal, to H.O. McCurry, Ottawa, 29 November 1939; in The National Gallery of Canada. 'Jack Humphrey, who felt he was at a material disadvantage, compared with the other members, on account of living so far away, has, on our advice, dropped out, and has been replaced by Philip Surrey.'
84. 'La Peinture Moderne par Maurice Gagnon,' La Revue Populaire, vol. XXXIII, no. 11 (November 1940).
85. Maurice Gagnon, 'Initiation à la peinture moderne,' La Revue Mo' derne, vol. XVIII, no. 5 (March 1937), pp. 16 – 17; vol. XVIII, no. 6 (April 1937), pp. 6 – 7; vol. XVIII, no. 7 (May 1937), pp. 6 – 7; vol. XVIII, no. 8 (June 1937), pp. 8 – 9.
86. Paul-Émile Borduas, 'Projections libérantes,' (annotated edition prepared under the direction of François Gagnon), Études françaises, vol. VIII, no. 3 (August 1972), p. 265, n. 61.
87. Ibid., p. 261, n. 45.
88. Guy Robert, Borduas (Quebec: Les presses de l'Université du Qué- bec, 1972), pp. 15 – 21.
89. Guy Robert, op. cit., p. 21.
90. Paul-Émile Borduas, op. cit., p. 258.
91. Ibid., p. 259, nn. 39 – 41. 92. Ibid., pp. 261 – 263.
93. Ibid., p. 260.
94. In 1937, the year the portrait was painted, Maurice Gagnon published the first article on Borduas. Sec Maurice Gagnon, 'Paul- Émile Borduas / Peintre montréalais,' La Revue Moderne, vol. XVIII, no. 11 (September 1937), pp. 10 – 11.
95. Paul-Émile Borduas, op. cit., p. 260.
96. Paul-Émile Borduas met John Lyman in the spring of 1938. See John Lyman, 'Borduas and the Contemporary Arts Society,' in Evan H, Turner, Paul-Émile Borduas 1905 – 1960 (exhibition catalogue) (Montreal: The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1962), p. 40.
97. Maurice Gagnon published Peinture Moderne (Montreal: Éditions Bernard Valiquette) in 1940, in which he traced the development of art, predominantly French, from the Renaissance to the present day with its manifestations in the contemporary art of Quebec.
98. It is probably not coincidental that Maurice Gagnon published Pablo Picasso's Femme à la mandoline in Peinture Moderne in 1940 (fig. 29), and that in 1941 Borduas was to paint a similar work with the same title (oil on canvas; 32 x 26 in., 81.3 x 66.1 cm, Musée d'art contemporain, Montreal, repr. in colour in Guy Robert, op. cit., p. 250). George Braque's Nature morte reproduced in Peinture Moderne (fig. 30) bears many similarities to Borduas' still lifes of 1941, notably Nature morte aux ananas et poires (oil on canvas; 19-5/8 x 23-5/8 in., 49.8 x 59.9 cm, The National Gallery of Canada).
99. The Eastern Group continued to exhibit intermittently up to 1950 though Alexandre Bercovitch resigned in 1942 ('Alexandre Bercovitch,' The National Gallery of Canada Information Form, 16 June 1942).
100. John Lyman, 'Art,' The Montrealer (1 October 1938).
101. John Lyman, 'Five Tons,' Typescript for 'Art,' The Montrealer (1 October 1938); in the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, Montreal. In a letter to H.O. McCurry, Ottawa, 8 October 1938; in The National Gallery of Canada, John Lyman quoted the omitted line as, 'We in Canada badly need something in the nature of a Contemporary Arts [sic] Society which would give encouragement to artists who have not the material advantages given by regimentation.'
102. An exhibition of works loaned by the Contemporary Art Society was exhibited at the Art Association of Montreal, 15 – 30 April 1938. See Art Association of Montreal, Annual Report 1938, p. 26.
103. Contemporary Art Society Report 1936 – 7 (London: The Curwen Press, ), p. 3.
104. John Lyman, 'Borduas and the Contemporary Arts Society,' in Evan H. Turner, op. cit., p. 40.
105. The English name of the organization was originally 'Contemporary Arts Society,' though by 1946 the Society's letterhead read 'Contemporary Art Society.' In French the singular 'Société d'art contemporain' or abbreviation 'C.A.S.' was used.
106. 'Contemporary Arts Society. List of Artist Members. 16 May 1939'; in The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Artist members included Jack Beder, Alexandre Bercovitch, Paul-Émile Borduas, Sam Borenstein, Fritz Brandtner, Stanley Cosgrove, Henry Eveleigh, Charles Fainmel, Louise Gadbois, Eric Goldberg, Eldon Grier, Allan Harrison, Prudence Heward, Jack Humphrey, John Lyman, Louis Muhlstock, Jean Palardy, Marguerite Paquette, Goodridge Roberts, Anne Savage, Marian Scott, Regina Seiden, Jori Smith, Philip Surrey, Cambell Tinning, and Bernard Mayman.
107. Fritz Brandtner, Montreal, to H.O. McCurry, Ottawa, 15 April 1939; in The National Gallery of Canada.
108. Fritz Brandtner, Montreal, to André Biéler, Kingston, 6 March 1939; property of André Biéler. As one of the conditions of membership was that artists not participate in the activities of any academy, André Biéler refused membership in the C.A.S., feeling it to be useless to revive the conflict with the Royal Canadian Academy. See André Biéler, Kingston, to Fritz Brandtner, Montreal, 21 April 1939; copy property of André Biéler. My thanks to Frances Smith for bringing these letters to my attention.
109. Interview with Paraskeva Clark, Toronto, 18 October 1973.
110. Fritz Brandtner, Montreal, to L.L. FitzGerald, Saint James (Manitoba), 8 March 1939; private property.
111. John Lyman, 'Borduas and the Contemporary Arts Society,' in Evan H. Turner, op. cit., p. 40.
112. 'Contemporary Arts Society Constitution,' , paragraph 2; private property.
113. [Foreword], Contemporary Arts Society / Exhibition of Paintings by Members (exhibition catalogue) [Montreal: Frank Stevens Gallery, December 1939].
114. Montreal, Art Association of Montreal, 13 – 28 May 1939, Loan Exhibition / Art of Our Day. The exhibition's title was probably chosen with one eye on the opening exhibition at the new (1939) Museum of Modern Art in New York, Art in Our Time.
115. The collectors included friends of John Lyman who had purchased works from the exhibitions at W. Scott & Sons, Jewish refugees from Europe, Europeans working in Montreal, and artist members of the Contemporary Arts Society.
116. This exhibition was shown with deletions and additions from Toronto and Buffalo collections at The Art Gallery of Toronto the following autumn. See Toronto, The Art Gallery of Toronto, November – December 1939, 20th Century European Paintings.
117. [Foreword], Contemporary Arts Society Exhibition of Paintings By Members (exhibition catalogue) [Montreal: Frank Stevens Gallery, December 1939]. Toronto had had more consistent exposure to contemporary art including the Société Anonyme exhibition in 1927 and a large surrealist exhibition at the Canadian National Exhibition in 1938 (Toronto: Canadian National Exhibition, 26 August – 10 September 1938, Surrealist Art).
118. Sam Borenstein, Charles Fainmel, Eldon Grier, Jack Humphrey, Jean Palardy, Marguerite Paquette, Anne Savage, Regina Seiden, and Campbell Tinning were not included in this exhibition. Three new members were added: Mabel Lockerby, Ethel Seath, and Piercy Younger.
119. Montreal, Art Association of Montreal, 22 November – 15 December 1940, Contemporary Arts Society. This was dubbed 'Art of Our Day in Canada' by Robert Ayre in Saturday Night, vol. lvi, no. 16 (28 December 1940), p. 26.
120. Roy Kerwin, 'Gagnon Lashes Out At False Values In Modernistic Art,' Montreal Standard (29 April 1939). This talk was translated into French and published after Clarence Gagnon's death. See Clarence Gagnon, 'L'Immense Blague de l'Art Moderniste,' Amérique française (September 1948), pp. 60 – 65; (December 1948), pp. 44 – 48; (March 1949), pp. 67 – 71; (June 1949), pp. 30 – 33.
121. 'Gagnon's Talk On Art Draws Spirited Reply,' Montreal Standard (6 May 1939).
122. Especially from 1940 these included Marcel Parizeau and Henri Girard in Le Canada; Charles Doyon, Émile-Charles Hamel, and Jean-Charles Harvey in Le ]our; and Jacques de Tonnancour in Le Quartier Latin.
123. Maurice Gagnon, Peinture Moderne (1940), p. 127.
124. Jean-Charles Harvey, 'Les Bourses d'Europe et M. Maillard,' Le Jour, vol. I, no. 37 (28 May 1938).
125. Jean-Charles Harvey, 'En lettres, en art, être libre ou ne pas être,' Le Jour, vol. I, no. 6 (23 October 1937).
126. Jean-Charles Harvey, 'Le pire obstacle à l'art canadien,' Le Jour, vol. I, no. 28 (26 March 1938).
127. Paul Riverin, 'Écoliers ou professionnels?,' Le Jour, vol. I, no. 33 (30 April 1938).
128. Jean Paul Lemieux, 'Notes sur quelques toiles de Pellan,' Le Jour, vol. I, no. 35 (14 May 1938); J. Picart-Ledoux, 'Un jeune peintre, Pellan,' Le Jour, vol. II, no. 18 (14 January 1939); Juliette Cabana, 'Chez Alfred Pellan peintre moderne,' La Revue Populaire, vol. XXXII, no. 11 (November 1939), pp. 8 – 9.
129. Jean Paul Lemieux, ibid.
131. 'Des leçons pratiques sur l'art religieux,' Montreal La Presse (30 March 1940).
132. Maurice Gagnon, Pellan (Montreal: L'Arbre, 1943), p. 11.