Jean-Philippe Dallaire was a painter, graphic artist, muralist,
illustrator, tapestry designer and educator. He was born in Hull,
Quebec, Canada. He lived in Paris, France (1938-1945); Québec
City (1946 -1952); Ottawa, Ontario (1952 -1957); Montreal, Quebec
(1957-1959) and Vence, France (1) (1959 – 1965) where he died.
mediums were oil, watercolor, gouache, charcoal, crayon, pencil and
mixed mediums. His subjects were figures, portraits, humor,
fantasy, folklore, mythology, dreams, still life, genre, shape, color
and texture. His styles were Realism, Surrealism, Cubism and
Abstraction. His work is identified by its meticulous
craftsmanship, painstaking attention to details, vivid colors,
draftsmanship, flattened planes and decorativeness. His
Surrealist work appears to derive from Art Brut (see AskART glossary)
and bears a resemblance to the figurative work of Paul Klee, Jean
Dubuffet, and to his stated influences Alfred Pellan and Picasso (see
all in AskART).
"I work according to my
intuition and whim, ...As it is in Surrealism, it is the subconscious
that I express, and that is made explicit through form and color in the
painting." and “One could say that I do not take life
seriously. I always had a fondness for birds, little flags and
the texture of fabrics. Perhaps it is a bit decorative, but so
what.” - Jean-Philippe Dallaire .
While Dallaire is often
considered a largely self taught artist he has attended numerous art
schools and studied under some prominent artists. He studied with
Charles Goldhamer (see AskART), Peter Haworth (see AskART), Robert Ross
(1902-1984), and Elisabeth Wyn Wood (see AskART) at Central Technical
School, Toronto (1935); with Charles Maillard (1887-1971) and Felix
Charpentier (see AskART) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Montreal (1938);
with Maurice Denis and Georges Desvallieres (see both in AskART) at
Ateliers d'Art Sacre in Paris (1938); with Andre Lhote (see AskART)
also in Paris (1938 -1940); and tapestry design with Jean Lurcat (2)
(see AskART) at Aubusson, France, (summer 1949).
His career as
an educator involved teaching painting at the École des Beaux-Arts in
Québec City (1946-1952)(3). He also worked for the National Film
Board in Ottawa, Ontario (1952-1957), where he illustrated short
animated educational films.
During World War II Dallaire, as a
Canadian citizen, and thus an enemy civilian, was interned by the Nazis
(1940) in the Saint Denis (Paris suburb) “Ilag” were he remained
until the camp was liberated by the United States Army in August
1944. While at the camp, which had a library, sports activities
and a theatre, he continued to paint and studied Italian.
exhibited with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from 1953 to
1961. His works were also included in the National Gallery of
Canada (Ottawa) exhibition titled “300 Years of Canadian Art” (1967).
He had solo exhibitions at the University of Montreal (1947), Dominion
Gallery, Montreal (1954) and Robertson Galleries, Ottawa
(c.1955). In 1968 a retrospective exhibition of his work was held
at the Montreal Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Quebec (Quebec
His work is avidly collected. It is also in
numerous museums including the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the
Museum of Quebec, Musée d'art de Joliette (Quebec City), the Agnes
Etherington Art Centre (Kingston,Ontario) and the Art Gallery of
Greater Victoria (B.C.) There are 12 paintings of his in the
collection of the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa). He also
created murals for the Dominican monasteries in Ottawa, Ontario and
Fall River, Massachusetts; and a tapestry wall hanging for the Queen
Elizabeth Hotel (Montreal).
He is listed in A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald; in The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar; in The Canadian Encyclopedia (1985), Hurtig Publishers; in Art and Architecture in Canada (1991), by Loren R. Lerner and Mary F. Williamson; and in The Dictionary of Art (1996), edited by Jane Turner.
(1) Vence is a town within 20 miles of Cannes, Nice and Monaco on the French Riviera.
Lurcat was a surrealist and cubist painter who was responsible for the
modern revival of French tapestry design at Aubusson where French
rug making dates back to 1665. His influence on Dallaire’s art is
(3) Jean-Paul Lemieux (see AskART) was also teacher there, from 1937 until retirement 1965.
Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke