During a stay in Paris, the Québec painter Edmund Alleyn (1931–2004) created a series of works known as the Suite indienne. Inspired by North American First Nations’ mythologies, these works, dated from 1962 to 1964, reveal the exuberant palette of an artist at the peak of his creative powers. Recently rediscovered in the basement of the artist’s studio, where they had lain rolled up for 40 years, they will now be shown together to the public for the very first time. “When these paintings appeared,” said the artist in a July 14, 1981 Radio-Canada interview, “I had probably been in Paris nine years. I was thinking about my identity, and also wondering about that exile... I looked around me and saw all that international painting which was the same from one country and one capital to another. It was an extraordinary time when tachisme was everywhere. But it seemed to me that an individual could express things that connected him to a culture, to a particular place on earth.”
The exhibition at Galerie Simon Blais will feature no less than 20 oils on canvas and gouaches on paper. The exhibition’s opening will also be the occasion for the launch of its accompanying catalogue, entitled Hommage aux Indiens d’Amérique, which includes a foreword by the artist’s daughter, Jennifer Alleyn, an essay by art historian and critic Mona Hakim, and a detailed chronology compiled by UQAM professor Gilles Lapointe.