Inscriptionssigned, ‘Bruce Le Dain’ (lower left); titled ‘OTTAWA/ VIEW FROM VICTORIA ISLAND’ (verso, upper left), signed and dated ‘Bruce Le Dain/ SEPT. 1975’ (verso, centre)
Walter Klinkhoff Gallery Inc., Montreal;
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Throughout his painting career, Le Dain very much enjoyed painting the ocean, the rivers and the streams. The last several years of his all too brief life, although living in Montreal, Bruce sought inspiration spending part of the year downeast in a cabin by the sea.
For over forty years he painted his subjects directly from nature, travelling extensively throughout Canada, the New England Seacoast and in parts of England and the Continent.
Born in Montreal in 1928, recognition of his talent came early when at the age of 20 he was one of the youngest painters selected for the prestigious Annual Spring Exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and again four years later in 1952-53.
In 1953 Le Dain moved to London and spent four years in further studies in graphic arts. This early training as a graphic designer still underscores the abstract pattern and design one finds in his paintings today. He returned to Canada and in 1966 had his first canvas accepted for the Royal Canadian Academy’s 87th Annual Exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
Bruce had been splitting his time between full time employment with a prestigious advertising agency and his art. In 1977 he established a studio in Montreal to pursue painting full-time. His works unanimously contain strong elements of atmosphere and light. At its best, the work is of serene contemplation. The paintings appear to contain and be contained by stillness. The subject matter of his paintings reflects a warm sensibility and a close relationship and concern for the natural environment. Closer study of his work leaves one with a sense of peace and a quiet calm. His solo exhibitions at our Walter Klinkhoff Gallery attracted record crowds. Although exhibiting almost exclusively in Montreal, his work enjoys a wide following among private collectors throughout Canada as well as in the United States, England, France, Israel, Holland and Germany. His work appeared in over fifty corporate collections.
For those of us who knew Bruce, he was an artist who had almost a spiritual passion and dedication for anything he undertook. His enthusiasm was infectious.
Le Dain was generous with his time, a true giver. It was with that generosity he made formidable commitments at personal and professional sacrifice for the benefit of numerous objectives including Katimavik, Verdun’s Douglas Hospital and the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts where he served a term as President.