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Paul-Émile Borduas

14.48, or Glorious Cemetery


Paul-Émile Borduas
Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, 1905 – Paris 1960


14.48, or Glorious Cemetery




Oil on canvas


65 x 80.9 cm


Gift of Mr. Denis Noiseux and Mrs. Magdeleine Desroches-Noiseux, inv. 2004.162


Quebec and Canadian Art

“Borduas always works with the desire for painting to explode on his canvases in an affirmation of life and freedom,” wrote Madeleine Gariépy in 1948 about the some ten works the artist exhibited at Guy and Jacques Viau’s Montreal studio, one of which was Glorious Cemetery. According to François-Marc Gagnon, its title indicates the final work of a series that includes all the compositional elements of the paintings preceding it: “the canvas reprises the verticality of motifs, the arrangement in columns and the tiering – in short, the organization – making these Automatiste works models of harmony and balance.” That same year, Borduas would leave the Contemporary Arts Society, which dissolved shortly thereafter due to conflicting views, and would issue his Automatiste manifesto Refus global, in which this work appeared. In 1949, a painting from the same series and year, 10.48, or Collection of Trophies, was shown at the 66th Spring Exhibition of the Art Association of Montreal (now the MMFA), where it was awarded the Jessie Dow Prize by Jury II of the section for modern works.

© Estate of Paul-Émile Borduas / SOCAN (2024)

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