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 Joseph Giunta  (1911 - 2001)

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Lived/Active: Quebec/Massachusetts / Canada      Known for: gestural abstraction painting, constructions

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Joseph Guinta is primarily known as Joseph Giunta

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Joseph Giunta
An example of work by Joseph Guinta
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted July 2004, is from Richard Marroni, representative of the

Joseph Giunta had an artistic career that spaned over 70 years. He is known for both of his styles, realism and gestural abstraction. From the 1930's to 1960's, he created traditional style portraits, still lifes and landscapes, and from 1960 to 2001, he did gestural abstraction including organic collages, and geometric constructions.

With his family's origins rooted in Sicily and born in Montreal, Canada, Joseph Giunta began his painting studies in 1925 at the age of 14 under the direction of Adrien Hebert and Johnny Johnston. From 1927 to 1930, he studied at the Monument National and at the Montreal School of Fine Arts and pursued his training under the supervision of Maurice Felix, Charles Maillard and Joseph St-Charles. He was influenced by the Impressionists and the Fauves, especially Paul Cezanne and Henri Matisse.

In 1930 he continued his painting studies under the critical eye of professor C. Dyonnet, and in 1931 at the young age of 20, he was accepted for the first time at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' Annual Spring Exhibition.

He also studied and painted in Boston, Massachusetts from 1935 to 1937. Giunta's first exhibition was in 1936 at the Fine Art Department of Eaton's store in Montreal, where he exhibited along with Marc-Aurele Fortin. After 1958 Giunta started turning toward abstract art. He went on an observation journey that took him to Italy and France, and became influenced by the work of Kandinsky, Klee, Tapies, De Kooning and Miro. For Giunta, a period followed of gestural-abstraction painting and organic collages.

He participated in a host of solo and group exhibitions, including at the Quebec Pavilion at the Osaka Japan World's Fair in 1970. In 1975 after the tragic death of his only son, Giunta did not exhibit for over nine years. He turned inward and emerged with geometric constructions.

In 2001, the year of his death, a major exhibition was held at the Maison de la culture Frontenac in Montreal, along with the release of a posthumous documentary tribute to the artist by filmmaker Pepita Ferrari. It was titled "Joseph Giunta: A Silent Triumph", and has won 5 awards in 3 separate countries: Canada, the United States and France, and has helped to propel Giunta to international status.

Musee des beaux arts du Quebec, Quebec City, Canada
Musee des beaux arts de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke QC, Canada


BIRON, Normand "Joseph Giunta: Les libertes imaginaries",
Vie des Arts, Montreal, printemps 2001, vol. XLIV, no 182, page couverture et al.

ROBERT, Guy, Giunta: un peintre heureux, Le Collectionneur, Montreal, automne-hiver 1989, pp. 67-70.

Centre LEONARDO DA VINCI, St-Leonard.
Galerie d'art d'Outremont, Outremont.
Maison de la culture Frontenac, Montréal.
Centre d'Exposition du Vieux Palais, Saint-Jerome.
L'Alliance Française, Ottawa.
Centre culturelle de Mascouche, Mascouche.
Vieux Presbytere de Saint-Bruno, Saint-Bruno.
Galerie Zanettin, Quebec.
Pavillon du Quebec, Osaka, Japon.
Foyer des Arts, Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal, Montreal.
Galerie Le Gobelet, Montreal.
Galerie Zanettin, Quebec.
Centre d'Art du Mont-Royal, Montreal.
Arts Club, Montreal.
Chalet de l'Ile Sainte-Helene, Montreal.
Galerie Antoine, Montreal.
Galerie Robert Olivier, Quebec.

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