André Biéler. At the Crossroads of Canadian Painting
Parution: 17 décembre 2004
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Born in Lausanne (Switzerland) in 1896, educated in French in Geneva and in Paris, then in English in Montreal from 1908, André Biéler stands at the crossroads where the Old World meets the New. After the First World War he was determined to reinvigorate pastoral painting. To this end, he went to live in Sainte-Famille on Île d'Orléans. He later painted in Saint-Urbain (Charlevoix County) and finally settled in Saint-Sauveur in the Laurentians. He was a remarkable innovator in both form and technique, applying the language of modernism to the tried and true subjects of artistic Regionalism. With his talent for leadership, he organized the first national artists' meeting, the Conference of Canadian Artists, in Kingston (1941). In 1936 he embarked on a teaching career at Queens's University in Kingston, but continued to paint scenes of traditional life in Quebec for the rest of his life. He died in Kingston in 1989.