“My challenge since 1970: to paint light, and to capture its energy. The path is one of reduction inherent to all artistic production, a path that becomes narrower, clearer, and luminous and leads to islands of light.” Fernand Leduc, 1993

Abstract painter Fernand Leduc was a major figure in Quebec’s contemporary art scene. A seminarist with the Frères Maristes, Fernand Leduc entered the École des beaux-arts de Montréal in 1938. After graduating in 1943, he left the church and shortly thereafter became a member of the Contemporary Arts Society. At that time he also played a major role in forming the Automatistes group, which included such well-known artists as Jean-Paul Riopelle, Paul-Émile Borduas and Françoise Sullivan. In the mid-1950s, dividing his time between Montreal and Paris, he became the president and founding member of the Non-Figurative Artists' Association of Montreal. In more recent years, he focused on creating abstract landscapes, creating works featuring luminous fields of colour. The Musée des beaux-arts de Chartres and the Musée du Nouveau Monde de La Rochelle organized a retrospective of his oeuvre in 1985 that circulated later in Canada. He was awarded the Louis-Philippe Hebert Prize in 1979, the Paul-Émile Borduas prize in 1988, and the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts in 2007. After spending a good part of his life in France and Italy, he returned to Montreal in 2006.


Leduc died of cancer in Montreal on January 28, 2014.

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