Jammin' in the Aviary Paul Fournier

Acrylic on Canvas
36 × 48 inches
91.4 × 121.9 cm
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Curved, organic shapes and taches in thinned bright acrylic overlaid with thicker impasto strokes in a rainbow of colours jostle for space in this four feet wide canvas. This celebratory flurry of colourful movement is given additional meaning by the title of the work. Fournier's work aligns with third-generation non-figurative painters who worked in Toronto during the 1960s such as Milly Ristvedt, K.M. Graham, David Bolduc and others. Fournier began studies in 1959 at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He soon became known for his use of bright fauvist colours for which he was dubbed an "exotic modernist" by New York art critic Donald Kuspit. Fauvism was a post-impressionist movement in France characterized by the "wild' use of colour. Fournier has had major solo exhibitions in Toronto, Guelph, Hamilton, Edmonton, Houston and Washington, D.C. His work was selected by critic Andrew Hudson for 14 Canadians: A Critic's Choice at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and by Boston Museum of Fine Arts curator Kenworth Moffett for inclusion in The new Generation: A Curator's Choice at the Andre Emmerich Gallery in New York. In 1996, Fournier received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University. His work is found in private collections and in numerous museums including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. "...Paul Fournier’s canvases seemed typical of his generation of Toronto painters. Like his colleagues K. M. Graham, Daniel Solomon, Paul Hunter and David Bolduc, Fournier demonstrated an almost Fauvist sense of color and an ability to be both playful and lyrical in the same picture. Like them, too, he clearly admired Matisse and Jack Bush. Yet Fournier’s pictures were and have remained stubbornly personal, in a challenging territory of his own, a narrow zone between reference and invention." Karen Wilkin, Canadian Art, 1991.

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