The Automatistes held a number of exhibitions, notably in New York in 1946 and in Paris in 1947. Their first Montréal exhibition was on Amherst St in April 1946, and they were designated as "Automatistes" at their second Montréal showing, on Sherbrooke St in February 1947. What had begun as a dissident student group was now an important cultural movement.
In 1948 Borduas released the manifesto REFUS GLOBAL, which served as a preface for a series of texts by Claude GAUVREAU (poet and brother of Pierre), Françoise Sullivan (a dancer), Bruno Cormier and Fernand Leduc, and expressed the views of the Automatistes. It extended the movement's aesthetic intuitions into the political field, "resplendent anarchy" being the mirror of the spontaneous painting encouraged by the group. The group dispersed after the manifesto was published, for Riopelle and Leduc had already left for Paris. Their last show - "La Matière Chante" organized by Claude Gauvreau - took place in 1954.
Author FRANÇOIS-MARC GAGNON
D. Burnett and M. Schiff, Contemporary Canadian Art (1983); François-Marc Gagnon, Paul-Émile Borduas. Biographie critique et analyse de l'oeuvre (1978); J. Russell Harper, Painting in Canada (1977); D. Reid, A Concise History of Canadian Painting (1973).
Links to Other Sites
Watch the Paul Émile Borduas Heritage Minute from the Historica-Dominion Institute. See also related online learning resources.
Canadian Women in the Arts
A great reference source about Canadian women artists. Includes teaching guides. Part of the "Celebrating Women's Achievements" series from Library and Archives Canada.
A profile of abstract painter and sculptor Jean-Paul Riopelle. Also includes images of his works of art. From the National Gallery of Canada.
Le Refus global: Revolution in the Arts
A multimedia CBC feature about the impact of "Le Refus global" on Québec society and culture.
View a biography and works of art by painter Fernand Leduc, recipient of the 2007 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.
A biography of Paul-Émile Borduas, Groupe Automatiste leader and principal author of the Refus globalmanifesto. From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.