Elliott Louis Gallery Canadian Fine Art

Léon Bellefleur  Bio  ·  

"I paint by instinct without philosophical or pictorial reasoning. It's a world I invent poetically and in exaltation." –  Leon Bellefleur

Born: Montreal, February 8, 1910
Died: Montreal, February 22, 2007

Known for both his graphic work and for his painting, Bellefleur was inspired by the art of Paul Klee, by surrealism and its preoccupation with the subconscious, and by drawings of the children he schooled in Montreal.

Alongside Albert Dumouchel, Jacques de Tonnancour, and Louis Archambault, Bellefleur became a member of the Prisme d'Yeux led by Alfred Pellan, signing their manifesto in 1948 and exhibiting with the group.

Bellefleur retired from teaching in 1954 and travelled to Europe, setting up a studio in Paris in1958. There he associated with André Breton and the Surrealist. While there he studied printmaking techniques at the studios of Friedlander and of Desjaubert. He would spend the next ten years going back and forth between Europe and Quebec, finally settling down in Quebec in 1966 where he continued to paint into his 90s.

In 1951 Bellefleur was part of the second international COBRA exhibition at Liege, Belgium, and became a member of the AUTOMATISTE movement in 1953. In 1960 he represented Canada at the Guggenheim International Contest. The first winner of the Prix Borduas (1977), Bellefleur also received the 1985 annual prize of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste and an honourary PhD from Concordia University in 1987. In 1989 Bellefleur was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy. 

Click on the thumbnails below to view a larger image.

Please email the gallery to view more works by Léon Bellefleur.

Solo Exhibitions
1946    Maison des Compagnons, Montreal
1950    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
1951    Agnès Lefort Gallery, Montreal
1954    Montreal Museum of Fine Art
1955    Agnès Lefort Gallery, Montreal
1956    Galerie l”Actuelle, Montreal
1957    Galerie Denyse Delrue, Montreal
1958    Galerie Denyse Delrue, Montreal
1960    Galerie Denyse Delrue, Montreal
1961    Dresdnere Gallery, Montreal
1961    Dorothy Cameron Gallery, Toronto
1963    Claude Haeffely Gallery, Montreal
1964    Galerie du Siècle, Montreal
1965    Galerie Connaît, Paris
1966    Galerie du Siècle, Montreal
1966    Roberts Gallery, Toronto
1967    Galerie l’Aterier, Quebec City
1967    Blue Barn Gallery, Ottawa
1968    National Gallery of Canada (retrospective)
1968    Contemporary Art Museum of Montreal, Montreal (retrospective)
1968    Roberts Gallery, Toronto
1968    Art Gallery of Ontario
1969    Galerie Michel Champagne, Quebec
1973    Damkiar Gallery, Hamiltion
1974    Upper Street Gallery, London
1974    Downstairs Gallery, Edmonton
1975    Galerie Les Deux “B”, Saint Antoine sur Richelieu, Quebec
1975    International Gallery, Ribe, Denmark
1979    Galerie Les Deux “B”, Saint Antoine sur Richelieu, Quebec
1981    Galerie Charlotte Frenette, Quebec
1982    Frederick Palardy Gallery, Saint Lambert, Quebed

National Gallery of Canada
Art Gallery of Ontario
Montreal Museum of Fine Art
The Museum of Quebec
Art Gallery of Ontario
London Art Gallery
Hamilton Art Gallery
Tel-Aviv Museum

1951    First prize for Modern painting ,Spring Exhibition, Fine Arts Museum of Montreal  
1951    Jessie Dow Award for oils
1977    First recipient of the Borduas Award
1985    Saint Jean Baptiste Society Prize
1987    Honourary Doctorate ,Concordia University

Selected Group Exhibitions
1943    Contemporary Art Society, Montreal
1947    Spring Exhibition, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal
1951    Second International COBRA Exhibition, Liere
1951    First Biennial Exhibition, Sao Paulo, Brazil
1952    Canadian Group of Painters, Art Gallery of Toronto, Toronto
1955    International Phases Exhibition, Galerie Creuse, Paris
1956    International Engraving and Drawing Exhibition, Lugano, Switzerland
1957    Trente-cinq Peintres dans l”Actualité, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal
1957    Four Painters of Quebec, Art Gallery of Toronto, Toronto
1958    Canadian Pavilion, Universal Exhibition of Brussels, Brussels
1960    International Exhibition, Guggenheim Museum, New York
1962    Canadian Modern Art, Spolete, Italy
1967    Three Hundred Years of Canadian Art, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
1978    Tendances Actuelles au Quebec, Contemporary Art Museum, Montreal

Association Memberships
Canadian Group of Painters
Canadian Society of Graphic Art
The Non-Figurative Artists’ Association of Montreal
Painting movements: Prisme d’Yeux and  Les Automatistes

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