A direct reference to the Montreal Canadiens hockey team, the Bleu, Blanc, Rouge series is characterized by a strict use of colours, forms, and compositions (both figurative and abstract) inspired by sports imagery, representing the players, rink, and equipment through the isolation of details, gestures, and fragments. Lemoyne chose a popular reference to convey his pictorial concerns, drawing freely from the aesthetic affinities of American Abstract Expressionism, the Automatistes, and the Quebec Plasticiens. He composed a series of original works “without falling into folklorism or abandoning the formal tenets of modernism” (Marcel Saint‑Pierre). His fresh take on solid colours, dripping, and distinctive geometry offered a happy marriage between form and content, and his paintings tell a story in three colours: a manifesto in itself.
Drawing on reportage photography, the more figurative works of 1975 helped to break down the barriers around art. They also played a role in cultivating the already established myth of the Canadiens’ star players, focusing particularly on goalie Ken Dryden, whom Lemoyne immortalized that year. In Peinture no 3, he portrays a player in the heat of the action, bringing to mind the Canadiens’ uniform through an elaborate—and decidedly more abstract—composition of alternating tri-coloured bands, in which each colour lends balance to the whole. In the right-hand part of the diptych, one observes the distinctive shape of a hockey glove gripping a stick; the entire pose seems inspired by that thrilling moment when a player grabs the puck and heads straight for the net. In keeping with this momentum, the formal innovations that Lemoyne developed in 1975 allowed him to establish his now emblematic stylistic language.