Biography of Lise GERVAIS

Lise Gervais, self-portrait



Born in Saint-Césaire, Rouville, Quebec, Lise Gervais studied painting at the École des beaux-arts in Montreal under Stanley Cosgrove and Jacques de Tonnancour, drawing under Jean Simard, Gabriel Marcotte and  Suzanne Duquetand sculpture under Louis Archambault.

She travelled to Europe in 1958 where she visited Spain and viewed particularly the drawings and paintings of Goya.

Viewing her paintings in 1964 the critic Dorothy Pfeiffer commented “ Colourful, stencil-like, paintings climb like exotic vines, or else soar like flights of birds of paradise. Everything moves, flies, rises, or flaps loudly in Gervais’ paintings. But nothing - absolutely nothing - flutters. In fact, the dominent note in her technique is ‘power,’ a power both authoritative and invigorating.” She spent much of her time  in the solitude of the woods and lakes in the Laurentians.



“ (…) in spite of the amount in pounds of paint laid on her canvases, Lise Gervais manages to suggest dimensions of space, depth, transparency, texture, and movement which are remarkable ”. Dorothy Pfeiffer, 1964.



Lise Gervais makes paintings and sculptures.



After a number of group shows in Quebec, Montreal, Trois-Rivières, Chicoutimi, Granby, Sherbrooke and Ottawa, Gervais held her first solo show in Montreal, in February of 1961. She exhibited there again in 1962 and in Toronto at the Moos Gallery also in 1962. An exhibit of her abstract sculpture took place in 1967.

    Galerie Denyse Delrue, Montreal; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
    Galerie Moos, Toronto; Philadelphia Museum, USA
    Galerie du Siècle, Montreal; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
    Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (Musée du Québec), Quebec; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
    Galerie de Montréal; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Rodin Museum, Paris
    Bishop’s University Art Gallery, Lennoxville, Quebec
    Galerie d’art du Collège Édouard-Montpetit, Longueuil, Quebec
    McIntosh Gallery, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario



Her works are in the collections of Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Minister of External Affairs (Canada), Queen’s University (Kingston) and in many private collections.

    National Gallery of Canada
    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
    Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal
    Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY, USA
    Musée d’art de Joliette, Québec
    Université de Montréal
    Concordia University, Montreal
    Queens University, Kingston
    Hart House, University of Toronto
    York University, Toronto
    Samuel Bronfman Collection, Montreal
    Charles Delloye Collection, Paris
    Samuel Zacks Collection, Toronto
    CBC Head Office, Montreal


Source: Colin S. Macdonald, A dictionary of Canadian artists. Volume 2, Canadian paperbacks, 3rd edition, 1977, p. 270.

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