Artwork by Albert  Dumouchel,  Gaspésie

Albert Dumouchel

oil on canvas
signed lower left
16 x 22 ins ( 40.6 x 55.9 cms )

Auction Estimate: $1,200.00$800.00 - $1,200.00

Price Realized $2,400.00
Sale date: March 26th 2024

Private Collection, Montreal

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Albert Dumouchel
(1916 - 1971)

Born at Bellerive near Valleyfield, Quebec, he studied engraving in Montreal with James Lowe and sculpture with Médard Bourgault. He also studied music. In Paris he took further training in lithography under Desjobert and etching under Leblanc.

He taught at the Collège de Valleyfield for a time, and for many years was artistic director of the Institute des Arts-Graphiques. He exhibited at Lugano in 1952 and that year his mixed-media print “The Fish” was reproduced in Paul Duval’s book “Canadian Drawings and Prints” (this particular print was owned by the Galerie Agnes Lefort). The National Gallery of Canada acquired a smilier work for their prints collection about 1953. Dumouchel won a Unesco research grant in 1954 to work in Europe. He also won two Province of Quebec scholarships to work in Paris.

His paintings had been shown at the Canadian Biennials since the initial show in 1955 when his oil on paper “Bête A Peur, Bête A Fuir” was chosen for exhibit. The Second Biennial in 1957 included his etching, serigraph and ink drawings, and his serigraph “Fleurs” received an award of merit. In the Third Biennial his oil on board, and coloured lithograph were shown; and in the Fifth his four foot square canvas “Fenêtre vénitienne” completed in 1963 marked him as a painter of achievement.

Much of Dumouchel’s work is abstract and also non-objective, and he was one of 30 members of The Non-Figurative Artists Association of Montreal. In 1958 Robert Ayre acknowledged him among others as an artist of intimate and quiet abstract drawings. His solo show in 1963 at the Galerie Camille Hébert was reviewed by Lawrence Sabbath who noted his work in oils as follows, “. . . In this current show . . . there emerge images of great warmth, skill and pictorial beauty. Together they make for a distinctive group of canvasses, all executed in 1962 and 1963 . . . Best known for his engravings, he reinforces this opinion with those on view . . .” Claude Jasmin in another review at the Galerie Agnes Lefort in 1962 made these comments which were translated by Catherine Arthur, “. . . I have just seen some of this artist’s recent work about the end of the world . . . The Apocalypse is re-created with a fine feeling of the present. However, the basic struggle between light and shade one finds in Giguére is missing, and so is the silent and peaceful serenity of Gaucher . . . Dumouchel creates a subtle and mysterious light softened by shadows – a subterranean world, rocky, but without either the dryness or aridity of Gaucher’s. As on walls of ancient grottos, there are everywhere a thousand scribblings, scratchings, signs, symbols and gashes – like repeated protests, they teem with a lacerated, anguished humanity . . .”

Marjorie Harris acknowledged Dumouchel for his leadership in printmaking in Quebec both as a teacher and print-maker by recalling how from 1949 until the late 1950s he was artistic director of the old Institute des Arts-Graphiques where he inspired artists like Roland Giguère, Gerard Tremblay, Janine Leroux-Guillaume, Réal Arsenault and Léon Bellefleur.

Dumouchel at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts was given complete freedom to develop its graphics department in 1959 and with the aid of the necessary funds. In the estimation of Marjorie Harris he has achieved making it “the best graphics training ground in the country . . .” He won many awards for his work including the first prize at the Concours artistique de la Province de Québec 1964 and an honourable membership of the Etching Section of the Accademia Fiorentina della Arti del Disegno, Florence, Italy, 1964. He lived at Outremont, Quebec.

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