Louis De Niverville RCA (1933)
Louis de Niverville is a painter, muralist and illustrator who was born in Andover, England. He came to Montreal with his parents in 1934, moved to Ottawa in 1953, and lived in Toronto from 1958 to 1988 when he moved to Vancouver, where he lived until 2005 when he moved to Oakville, Ontario. His mediums are oil, acrylics, collage, ink, watercolor, gouache, pastel, lithography and mixed mediums. His subjects are fantasy, dreams, nightmares, and folk art. His styles are surrealism, symbolism and primitivism.
He is self-taught. Artists like Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Matisse, Rousseau, Saul Steinberg, James Thurber and Pierre Bonnard are admitted influences in his work. He worked for Mayfair magazine as an illustrator, and from 1957 to 1963 as a graphic designer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Toronto) with Dennis Burton and Graham Coughtry.
He is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art. He has been showing his work since 1957 in dozens of solo and group shows to date. These include the 4th, 5th, and 6th Biennial Exhibitions of Canadian Painting (1961, 1963, and 1965) at the National Gallery of Canada; a retrospective exhibition of his work in 1978 that toured fourteen Canadian cities; and a second retrospective in 1997 that was exhibited in Vancouver, Edmonton and Oshawa. He also exhibited at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1963 and 1970.
His awards include 1964, 1974 and 1983 Canada Council Senior Fellowships.
His paintings are in many private, corporate and public collections; and his murals in numerous public spaces. The public collections include the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musee d’Art Contemporain (Montreal), the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Ottawa), Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Queen's University, Kingston), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington) and Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, B.C.). His murals can be seen at the Spadina Subway Station in Toronto; The Bentall Centre, Vancouver, B.C.; McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario; Pearson International Airport, Toronto; and the Lannan Foundation, Palm Beach, Florida.
As a prominent Canadian artist his work is discussed in many books about Canadian art history, there are also numerous magazine and newspaper articles. He is listed in A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S.MacDonald, published by Canadian Paperbacks Ltd. (8 volumes); and in The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar, published by Westbridge Publications Ltd. (4 volumes). His work is also discussed and illustrated in Landmarks of Canadian Art (1978), by Peter Mellen, published by McClelland and Stewart (260 pgs, color); in The Best Contemporary Canadian Art (1987) by Joan Murray, Hurtig Publishers Ltd. (201 pgs, color); in Contemporary Canadian Art (1983), by David Burnett and Marilyn Schiff, Hurtig Publishers (300 pgs, color and B&W); in Great Work – An Overview of Contemporary British Columbia Artists (1996), by Melanie Gold, Published by Melanie Gold Art Advisory Ltd.(108 pgs, color); in Cineplex Odeon: The First Ten Years - A Celebration of Contemporary Canadian Art (1989), by David Burnett, published by Cineplex Odeon, Toronto (128 pgs, color); and in Agnes Etherington Art Centre Queen's University at Kingston (1968), by Frances K. Smith, published by The Agnes Etherington Centre (195 pgs, B&W). He also illustrated the book The Fully Processed Cheese (1964), by Norman Ward, published by Longmans (192 pgs).
Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke