At Last, Free to Paint! Borduas’s "Untitled" and the Liberty of Automatism

Text by François-Marc Gagnon
François-Marc Gagnon, 2015

When confronted to an unusual Borduas painting recently appearing on the market, one the best source to establish its authenticity is to consult the Borduas files at the Archives of the Musée d'art contemporain in Montreal. Some files in this huge documentation contain photos of his painting taken or by himself or by professional photographer like Philipp Poccock, from Ottawa, who used to work for the magazine Canadian Art. He visited Borduas in Paris in May 1957. Indeed, there is a black and white photo of our painting in file 225 at the Musée d'art contemporain. But dating from 1951, the photo was probably taken by Borduas himself.