Pierre Gendron Print Biography

Born in Montreal in 1934
Studied at the Ecole des Beaux-arts, Montreal ( School of Fine Arts)
Trained in lithography and engraving with Desjobert and Friedlander, Paris ( France) 1959-1960


Grant from the Province of Quebec,1958
Arts Council Grant, 1960
Laureat , VI Mostra Internationale, Lugano ( Switzerland) 1960


National Gallery , Canada
Musee des Beaux-arts, Montreal
Musee de la province de Quebec
Musee d’art contemporain, Montreal

Related Professional Experience
1968 – 1994

Teacher ( Art – Institute of Applied Arts and CEGEP ( Vieux Montreal)


Retires from teaching , devoted full-time to his art


Paris, 1958; Biennale Internationale de Paris, 1961; Amsterdam 1960; Montreal , 1959-60-61-64-65-67-74-80-82-88; St-Sauveur, 1973-75; Longueil , 1974; Laval, 1982-1988; Toronto, 1960-61; Winnipeg, Hamilton, Vancouver , Buffalo, 1962; Rochester, 1963; New-York, 1960; Washington, 1960.


Pierre Gendron is, among contemporary artists, one of those who satisfies my own conception of what an artist does : to create a ‘ personal ‘ world parallel to the ‘natural ‘ world. A world that may find its initial inspiration in nature but must go beyond it. A world that feels compelled to change nature, to transform it, perhaps even transcend it and in certain moments of inspiration, succeeding to say what cannot be verbalized, to express the inexpressible.

And so, it is essentially during retrospective exhibitions that we can get that panoramic overview of an artist’s work: a moment of dread or wonder where everything falls into place, a moment of truth for the artist as well as for the art critic.

Of this parallel world, one can ask for two qualities. First, to find in it “constants” that give an artist‘s work a personal and unique vision. And so one would say before this or that painting: “There, that’s a Gendron….
In 1940, viewing the unforgettable Pellan exhibition in Quebec City, I had as a result, experienced a new world. Same thing happened, really, faced with a Borduas at the Beaux Arts exhibition.

But, besides “constants” there must be evidence of an evolution, an inner dynamic, moments resulting from personal growth. All that is evident in the works hung on the walls in Laval: the early period with its geometric forms, reds, ochres, blacks, whites, very structural (which, by the way, do not make Gendron “an abstract artist”….).The Transition period with its exploding soft reds and organic greens. Finally the ‘Paylande ‘ period, much more spontaneous, colour washed, more transparent - which lead us to last evening and which take us back to his very first figurative painting of 1954.

But always, with Gendron, a world is offered to us, a world of structure and thought. At its very heart, an obsessive search for balance. That is life.

Translation of text taken from the introductory remarks made by Guy Boulizon (Art Historian) at the opening of the Pierre Gendron exhibition held at the Maison des Arts de Laval in may 1988.

Pierre Gendron


1958-1988: works on paper


Paylande is for me a way of paying homage to humankind . It is an appeal to poetic reason, to tolerance, and beauty, and generosity.

Art is above all a ‘human’ experience where one is involved heart and soul. Painting or drawing is for me, a way of living and breathing, it is a dialogue between thought , feeling and technique. Above all, art is a form of meditation from concept to execution

I express by lines, forms and colours what I feel. These images from my imagination never intend to be descriptive. Rather they invite the viewer to actively dialogue with the work and to respond freely and intuitively to the images. This esthetic experience is something fragile and impalpable as is the quality. Finally as Paul Klee says so well:
“ Art does not reproduce reality , it reveals it.”

The evolution of my work comes about by stages, sometimes by steps. Its continuity, its life or survival are not always related to the talent one has and one always comes back to what is essential : to listen to one’s inner voice, that inner need Kandinsky spoke about. What is important is not the destination, but the process, a kind of quest.

For me, Art is a means of conveying to future generations what I was.

Pierre Gendron
Laval, January 1988