Edmund Alleyn

 Edmund Alleyn

Hors frontieres
Oil on canvas, 1958-1959
128 x 92 cm
50 x 36 in

Private collection, Quebec.

• 5 BIENAL DE SAO PAULO, Museu de Arte Moderna, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sept. – Dec. 1959 #4 Canadian section.
• Arte Canadiense : Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, Mexico, Nov. 1960 #176.                                                                                                  • Edmund Alleyn, In my studio, I am many, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, May 19, 2016 to September 25, 2016.
• 5ª BIENAL DE SÃO PAULO, Museu de Arte Moderna, catalogue p.111.
• Arte Canadiense : Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, catalogue, unpaginated.
• The National Gallery of Canada: A Hundred Years of Exhibitions, List and Index, Garry Mainprize,
RACAR: revue d’art canadienne / Canadian Art Review, Vol. 11, No. ½, 1984, illustrated in situ, p. 40.
• Edmund Alleyn, Dans mon atelier, je suis plusieurs, Mark Lanctôt, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 2016, illustrated p. 24.
• Edmund Alleyn, Biographie, Gilles Lapointe, Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2017, illustrated between p. 90 -91.


Edmund Alleyn (1931-2004). Born in Quebec City in 1931, Edmund Alleyn now lives and works in Montreal. After attending the Ecole des beaux-arts in Quebec City, he won the Grand Prix aux Concours artistiques de la province de Quebec and a grant from the Royal Society in 1955. He lived in France from 1955 to 1970.

His work, which moves in turn from lyrical abstraction to narrative realism and pop art, spans several decades. Beyond the formal media used, his work conveys the same thought, the same observations and the same vision of the world. The appearance of things, the passage of time, and our own passage, are always challenged in his work.

In 1958 and 1960, Edmund Alleyn was included in the selection of Canadian paintings featured in the Guggenheim competition, and in 1959, he won the bronze medal at the Sao Paulo Biennial. He represented Canada in the Venice Biennial in 1960. Since 1952, he has produced many solo exhibitions and has participated in about ten group events, both in Canada and abroad.

Although abstract in appearance, early paintings by Edmund Alleyn (1955-64) often represent a landscape, capable of visually reconstituting the setting of an internal experience. A return to figurative work in 1964 paradoxically featured increased abstraction. The refined landscapes become shells in which only the formal elements and the impression of a missed encounter remain.

He also approached this dispossession of the natural state in his techno-logical period, which began in 1965. In the 1970s, the realism of people and the verism of some of his installations form part of a period when the democratization of art was viewed as a necessity by many artists from Canada and Europe.


Edmund Alleyn

Study for Hors frontieres, mixed media, 1958
37.5 x 29.85 cm
15 x 12 in.

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