Surrealism Leon Bellefleur

"Leon Bellefleur was born in Montreal on february 8, 1910. His father objected to his desire to study at Beaux Arts. After graduating from École normale Jacques-Cartier, he starts his career as a school teacher which will last for twenty-five years. He marries Rita Jolicoeur in 1934. They have five children together.
He starts making drawings before he is ten years old. Eventually, he goes into painting. In 1946, he holds his first exhibition presented along with the drawings of the children he is teaching to . The following year, he publishes "Plaidoyer pour l'Enfant". (Plea in favour of children).
In 1951, he wins the first prize for modern painting at the Spring Exhibition of the Fine Arts Museum of Montreal. He previouly held an exhibition at The Agnès Lefort Gallery. He also participated in a collective exhibition of young artists in Europe and to the Sao Paulo Biennial.

 In 1954, he retires from teaching and devotes himself entirely to his art. In the fall, he holds a major exhibition at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum and thereafter leaves with Rita to go and live in Paris where they will spend most of the next ten years. In 1958, his talent is acknowledged by the Arts Council of Canada which grants to Bellefleur a significant scholarship. In France, he joins the surrealists and becomes a friend of André Breton's. In the midst of the 1960s, he comes back to Quebec which is going through its Quiet Revolution.
Bellefleur's exhibitions multiply not only in Montreal but also elsewhere in Quebec and in Ontario. But it is in 1968 that full consecration fo his talent takes place: the National Art Gallery holds an important retrospective fo Bellefleur's works first in Ottawa and then in London, Ontario and finally in Montreal. Bellefleur is awarded a second scholarship by the Arts Council of Canada.

 His solo exhibitions continue to multiply as far as London, England in 1973 and Denmark in 1975. In 1977, he becomes the first recipient of the Borduas Award newly created by the Quebec Government. This honour is followed by the Saint Jean Baptiste Society price in 1985. In 1986, a major exhibition of his work is held in Toronto and in 1987 he is awarded a honorary Phd by Concordia University in Montreal.
In 1988, one of the most famous art writers in Quebec, Mr Guy Robert, publishes in both french and english a major book on the life, the carreer and the work of Bellefleur. This book contains unpublished writings by Bellefleur, great pictures of the artist and his family as well as numerous reproductions of the artis's works from the various periods of his career: drawings,gouaches, etching, lithographs and oil. This book is published by Éditions Iconia and is entitled BELLEFLEUR.
At ninety years old, Léon Bellefleur still has a great enthusiasm and a profound passion for painting. He continues his work. Léon Bellefleur has been a man of great generosity and of great loyalty to people around him, family and friends. He never preoccupied himself with making money, getting honours or reaching celebrity. Humble and truthful, he always believed and said that his work would move along its own course. And he won. Without having compromised on the basic principles of integrity, generosity and respect for others.Léon Bellefleur is certainly one the great canadian painters of the second half of the twentieth century. And a great human being."(

Mila Smagliy

Yannima Tommy Watson

Yannima Tommy Watson known as Tommy Watson (born 1930) is an Indigenous Australian artist, of the Pitjantjatjara people from Australia’s central western desert. He has been described by one critic as "the greatest living painter of the Western Desert"Tommy Yannima Pikarli Watson is a senior Pitjantjatara elder and Law man of Karima skin group. He was born around 1935 in Anumarapiti, 75 kilometers west of Irrunytju, also known as Wingellina, in Western Australia, near the junction of its border with the Northern Territory and South Australia. His given names of Yannima and Pikarli relate to specific sites near Anumarapiti.

 Watson's mother died during his infancy, and his father when he was about eight years old. He subsequently went to live with his father's brother, who himself died two years later. Tommy was then adopted by Nicodemus Watson, his father's first cousin. It was at this point that he went to live at Ernabella Mission, and adopted the surname Watson in addition to his Aboriginal birth name, thus becoming Tommy Yannima Pikarli Watson.
Nicodemus Watson became a strong father figure. Together they traveled widely, and Watson learned the traditional skills required to lead a nomadic existence in the desert, including the fashioning of tools and weapons from trees using burning coals, how and what to hunt, and how and where to find water. Under Nicodemus Watson's guidance, Watson learned about nature and his people's ancestral stories, collectively known to the Aboriginal peoples of Australia as Tjukurrpa.

 Tommy Watson is known for his use of strong vibrant colours, that symbolically represent the ancestral stories of his country. Judith Ryan, Senior Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, has described Watson's colour as "incandescent". Watson's understanding of Australia's physical environment and its relationship with the ancestral stories have come to form the central element of his paintings. Watson creates his works on premium Belgian linen and favours Ara Acrylic paint, created by the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Tommy has been associated with the 'Colour Power' movement that developed within the Indigenous art scene between 1984 and 2004.
Watson himself has stated that his art is an exploration of traditional Aboriginal culture, in which the land and spirituality are intertwined and communicated through stories passed on from generation to generation. He said, "I want to paint these stories so that others can learn and understand about our culture and country.Wikipedia

American abstract expresionism Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg (December 24, 1924 – December 31, 2007) was an American abstract expressionist painter and teacher known for his gestural action paintings, abstractions and still-life paintings. A retrospective show, "Abstaction Over Time: The Paintings of Michael Goldberg", is showing at MOCA Jacksonville in Florida from 9/21/13 to 1/5/14. His work was seen in September 2007 in a solo exhibition at Knoedler & Company in New York City, as well as several exhibitions at Manny Silverman Gallery in Los Angeles. Additionally, a survey of Goldberg's work is exhibited at the University Art Museum at California State University, Long Beach since September 2010.

 A veteran of World War II, Goldberg was one of the last few remaining survivors of the New York School;he was sometimes referred to as a member of the so-called "second generation" of Abstract Expressionists, although he began exhibiting his action paintings in important group shows in galleries in New York City in the early 1950s. Goldberg began taking classes at the Art Students League of New York at age 14. In the 1950s he studied painting with Hans Hofmann, and he discussed painting with Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko and several others of the New York School sometimes at The Eighth Street Club, a regular meeting place of modern artists working in and around Tenth Street in New York and sometimes at the Cedar Bar. He began to exhibit his paintings in New York City during the early 1950s, and some of his abstract expressionist peers included artists like Joan Mitchell, Alfred Leslie, Grace Hartigan, Helen Frankenthaler, Knox Martin, Friedel Dzubas, Norman Bluhm and Sam Francis among others.

 Michael Goldberg came into prominence in the late 1950s, early 1960s just as Color field painting, Hard-edge painting and Pop Art emerged onto centerstage. With the changing of fashions in the art world; his greatest accomplishments as a painter weren't sufficiently recognized; and as many of his generation his work was overlooked for many years. Although by the 1970s and 1980s his work began to achieve recognition and appreciation and he enjoyed a long, successful and a celebrated career as an abstract painter. His work like others of the abstract expressionist generation expressed a painterly integration of Western metaphysics and Eastern philosophy. Throughout his long career and into his mature years, he continued to teach, paint, and exhibit his work. His classes at the School of Visual Arts were well attended by devoted students, and admirers. He lived with his wife and longtime companion, the painter Lynn Umlauf, who also teaches at the School of Visual Arts. He died in Manhattan of a heart attack. He is survived by his brother, the writer Gerald Jay Goldberg.Wikipedia

Ulysses Davis - American Folk Art

"Ulysses Davis (1914–1990) was a Savannah, Georgia, barber who created a diverse but unified body of highly refined sculpture that reflects his deep faith, humor, and dignity. His carvings were featured in the seminal 1982 exhibition “Black Folk Art in America, 1930–1980” at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., where they were applauded as important examples of African American vernacular art. Because he wanted his work to stay together after he died, Davis rarely sold his sculptures. He said, “They’re my treasure. If I sold these, I’d be really poor.” As a result, the carvings have had little exposure outside Savannah, particularly since his death, and Davis is little known outside folk art circles. In 1988, Davis received a Georgia Governor’s Award in the Arts.
For the more than three hundred carved wooden figures, furniture pieces, and reliefs he created during his lifetime, Davis used shipyard lumber, pieces donated by his friends, or wood he bought at lumberyards. He almost never made preliminary drawings or models but reduced the mass with a hatchet (and, later, a band saw) before refining the form with a chisel and knives, many of which he fabricated himself. To add textural detail, he sometimes used tools of this barbering trade, such as the blade of his hair clippers. Davis’s sculptures, which range in height from six to more than forty inches, can be divided into major categories: portraits of American and African leaders, religious images, patriotism, works influenced by African forms, fantasy, flora and fauna, love, humor, and abstract decorative objects. The exhibition includes the group regarded as the artist’s masterwork: a series of carved busts of forty U.S. presidents."(

Jenny Hunter Groat

Jenny Hunter Groat (born August 30, 1929 – February 2013) was an American dancer, choreographer, painter, calligrapher, book artist and educator.
She was born LaVida June Hunt in Modesto, California and moved to San Francisco to join the Anna Halprin-Welland Lathrop School and Dance Company. In 1956, Groat studied calligraphy at Reed College. In 1961, she set up her own dance company Dance West. Groat choreographed for KQED television, Stanford University, The Actors Workshop and the Carmel Bach Festival. After she retired from dancing in 1968, she studied Zen and took part in Jungian analysis. In 1972, Groat moved to Mill Valley and established a calligraphy practice. She also produced art books and painted abstract art.Her art book A Vision is in the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Her book Beauty and the Beast is in the collection of the Humanities Resource Center at the University of Texas at Austin.She married Maurice "Pete" Frederick Groat.Wikipedia

  "  Though I am completely able to make representational art, I prefer to paint abstractions because of its ability to convey worlds of meaning, feeling, and poetry beyond words or descriptions. I consider myself a 2nd Generation Abstract-Expressionist, since I was living, as a young Modern Dancer, in the 1950’s San Francisco, at the height of that great art movement, and my aesthetic impressions and ways of working were formed at that time. I had two other full art lives: 19 years as a pioneering modern dance performer/choreographer, then as an internationally known artist in fine art, western calligraphy. My return to full-time painting in these past years has been a synthesis of these earlier fields, based in the early Abstractionist years in San Francisco."

 "A native Californian, Jenny Hunter Groat spent 3 years as a Conservatory-trained musician, then moved to San Francisco 1n 1950. She was there amid the excitement and passion of the greatAbstract-Expressionist movement, may well be considered now a “Second Generation Ab-Ex” artist, since all her aesthetic preferences, impressions, and ways of working were formed in the ferment of that time.  After living out her complete art life as a nationally recognized Modern Dance performer, choreographer,innovator and teacher, she resigned from the field in 1968 for personal reasons, and took a 5-year Retreat,renewing her interest in Zen Buddhist practice and the psychology of Carl Jung. In 1974 she re-entered the art world in the field of Western Art Calligraphy. She taught and her work is known throughout the world, even now, and is includ- ed in many collections, books and periodicals. In 1997, however, she returned to the painting world, and that has been her focus since. Abstractions are now informed by all her previous fields, music, dance, and calligraphy. She, like most other artists of her time, is now self taught in this field, where she will continue to work for the rest of her life."(