Beneath a deep blue, cloudy sky, the bright colours of what appears to be a tropical landscape –red, yellow, purples and green pop from the canvas in this beautiful composition by Paul Fournier. Considered to be one of Canada’s most significant abstract expressionists, Fournier received early praise from the distinguished NY art critic, Donald Kuspit who described his work as that of an ‘exotic modernist.’ In the sixties, Fournier was part of a group of celebrated Toronto painters…Milly Ristvedt and David Bolduc, among them who explored the techniques and forms of abstraction.
“You can do so many things with paint…it’s a wonderland.”
He was born during the Great Depression in Simcoe, Ontario. He first studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1959 and went on to study printmaking at McMaster University in Hamilton in 1967. Fournier also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in 1996 where he’d also been the artist in residence. Inspired by the Fauvist colours of Matisse, Fournier became a member of a group of artists in Toronto who were mentored by Jack Bush and together explored modernist expressionism. During a career that spans six decades, Fournier has had solo exhibitions in several Canadian cities and in the U.S. His work is held in private collections in North and South America, and Europe. Public collections include the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington.