Galerie Simon Blais presents an exhibition of close to forty works by Montréal painter Jean-Paul Jérôme, who died in 2004. Illustrating five decades of uninterrupted creation, the exhibition A very Personal Journey offers a representative overview of the long and prolific career of the artist, now recognized as one of the greatest abstract painters in the history of Quebec. Most of them—paintings, sculptures, collages and drawings from private collections, as well as the painter’s estate—This exhibition will provide an opportunity to comprehend the remarkable development of an artist whose life was completely dedicated to art making. It also happens to coincide with the release of the Manifeste des Plasticiens 65 years ago.
On February 10, 1955, three young painters, gathered together with their intellectual mentor, Rodolphe de Repentigny, made waves within Montréal’s abstract painting community by issuing their own artistic credo in what would become a landmark document in the history of Canadian art: the Manifeste des Plasticiens. Having discovered their clear painterly affinities, Louis Belzile, Jean-Paul Jérôme, Fernand Toupin and Jauran (the pseudonym of Rodolphe de Repentigny) sought to eliminate any trace of a Romantic approach in the works they created. The Plasticiens thus signalled their commitment “above all, to their work’s plastic elements: tone, texture, form, line, the overall effect of the painting and the relationships amongst those elements.” It could be said that, throughout his exemplary career, Jérôme put that vision into practice in his art better than anyone.
The exhibition A very Personal Journey was made possible thanks to the sustained collaboration of Robert Jérôme, Jean-Paul Jérôme’s nephew and legal successor, and to that of passionate collectors, who generously agreed to lend their works.