Artwork by Léon Bellefleur,  Chant de mai
Thumbnail of Artwork by Léon Bellefleur,  Chant de mai Thumbnail of Artwork by Léon Bellefleur,  Chant de mai Thumbnail of Artwork by Léon Bellefleur,  Chant de mai

Preview this item at:

Cowley Abbott
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

Lot #13

Léon Bellefleur
Chant de mai

oil on canvas
signed and dated 1975 lower left; signed, titled and dated 1975 on the reverse
51.5 x 77 ins ( 130.8 x 195.6 cms )

Estimated: $35,000.00$25,000.00 - $35,000.00

Provenance:
Private Collection, Toronto
Literature:
Guy Robert, “Bellefleur: The Fervour of the Quest”, Montreal, 1988, pages 89, 103, 115 and 121
Léon Bellefleur’s artistic output in the 1970s progressively became more lyrical than in previous decades. The dance of pigments, texture and movement in “Chant de mai” captures an impulse of inspired paint application on the canvas. Against the softened background, the swaths of paint, thickly applied with both the palette and brush, emphasize a contrast between light and dark, conveying an energetic atmosphere.

Bellefleur had close ties to painters Paul-Émile Borduas and Alfred Pellan - leaders of the Montreal art scene in the 1940s – and was heavily influenced by their debate on the ideological differences of Surrealism. This intellectually charged atmosphere served Bellefleur well. His interest and research into Esoterism grew, enriching his artwork with the exploration of the mysterious and unknown. According to Bellefleur, “The most important thing is not what we see, but what we imagine.”

“Chant de mai” incorporates the quintessential elements of Leon Bellefleur’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. Mimicking the exuberance of the title, translating to ‘May Song’, this work captures the symphony of spring rebirth with the organic twists and turns of faceted strokes of paint, bringing 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 explores an esoteric approach to painting.
Sale Date: September 24th 2020

Register to Bid

To participate in our auction in person, by phone or to leave an absentee bid, please register below.

Register to Bid Telephone Bid Absentee Bid

Download our bidding form

Already have an account? Sign-In

Get updates or additional information on this item
Watch This Item Ask a Question Request Condition Report

Preview this item at:

Cowley Abbott
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703


Share this item with your friends

Léon Bellefleur
(1910 - 2007) RCA

Born in Montreal, Quebec, he started painting at the age of 10. He attended evening classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Montreal, 1929-36. He went to Paris in 1958 on a Canada Council Fellowship to study engraving under J. Friedlaender, and lithography at the Ateliers Desjaubert. On his return to Canada he was associated with Allfred Pellan in Montreal. In his painting which is abstract he is influenced by Paul Klee and by children’s art in which he has found a more direct and spontaneous form of expression. Robert Ayre in his review on Canadian painting refers to him as an artist who explores the unconscious, and Dr. Hubbard sees him as a surrealist as does David Donnell. Bellefleur’s media include oils, tempera, lithography, and etching. He is a member of the Canadian Group of Painters, the Canadian Society of Graphic Art, and the Non-Figurative Artist’s Association of Montreal. In 1960 he was chosen to represent Canada at the Guggenheim International Contest along with five other painters. He won the Jessie Dow award for oils in 1951 and received honourable mention for drawing in the 2nd Biennial Exhibition of Canadian Art. He is represented in the National Gallery of Canada and private collections.

Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume I: A-F", compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1977