Serge Lemoyne

1941 - 1998

Serge Lemoyne was born in Acton Vale, Quebec, in 1941. Lemoyne, a multidisciplinary artist and enfant terrible of Quebec’s contemporary art scene, was deeply invested in art throughout his dazzling career, and he constantly experimented and reinvented himself through the many art events, happenings, and pictorial improvisations that he initiated or participated in. Lemoyne considered himself primarily a seeker of new forms of visual expression, inspired by playfulness and the desire to integrate art into popular culture, as embodied in the Bleu, Blanc, Rouge series that spanned an entire decade, from 1969 to 1979; a direct reference to the Montreal Canadiens hockey team. The desire to erase the boundaries between life and art materialized during a pictorial performance organized by visual artist Greg Curnoe at 20/20 Gallery in London, Ontario, in 1969. Lemoyne had the idea of transforming the gallery into a hockey rink, employing the glass partitions as support for his painting, performed to the rhythm of René Lecavalier’s play-by-play commentary during a game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Serge Lemoyne’s Pointes détoile (1977–78), Les Étoiles (1979), and Période supplémentaire series (1980) marked the transition from the Bleu, blanc, rouge decade (1969–79) to a body of work decisively focused on the geometric figure, materiality, and the architectural theme. This corpus testifies beautifully to the aesthetic shift taking place, particularly with the surface treatment, which opened up a new, strictly pictorial approach. His series Théâtre, Rideau and Super-position, as well as Intersection, Triangle, and Triangulation, all produced in 1982, gave rise to rich variations of Tachism and Geometric Abstraction that hover between illusionistic and perspectival space. During this period, Lemoyne began preparing for a new series based on the theme of his studio, titled La maison (1985). His last seminal works are the Hommage à Matisse (1996-1997) and Trous noirs series (1997-1998). Serge Lemoyne died of a cancer in 1998, at the age of 57 years old.

His work is in numerous private and public collections, namely, the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Musée régional de Rimouski, Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent and Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke.

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