Artist painter and sculptor from Quebec of the Plasticien group, Louis Belzile was born in Rimouski in 1929. Between 1940 and 1948 he studied at the Séminaire de Rimouski and later he studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. In 1953 and 1954 he took lessons at the André Lothe workshop in Paris. In 1958, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Montreal. In 1960-1961, he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal.
Contemporary Canadian works
“Louis Belzile belongs with Fernand Toupin, Jauran (Rodolphe de Repentigny) and Jean-Paul Jérôme to the initial movement of Plasticien who, in 1955, on the occasion of an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts of Montreal, launched the Manifeste des Plasticiens. At the time (and it is true since the early 1940s), Quebec and Canadian painting lived a great creative effervescence, where abstraction claimed to be the language of pictorial revival. The debates are many between advocates of figuration and abstraction, as those between supporters of either of the two schools of thought. It is in this electrifying context that Louis Belzile affirms himself as a painter of modernity. His painting keep of his plasticien past all the rigor of the composition. Over the years, his language is enriched by a gestural flexibility which built the light through an evocative fantasy of his inner world.” Robert Bernier
The contemporary artist Louis Belzile stated: “There is in my painting a sort of sympathy between the sun, the sea, the sunset and my inner universe. I love the brilliant light of the Lower St-Lawrence area, and I have a strange notion of time and space, space in movement, time at rest. I feel like a soul worshiper of the sun. ” Since the 1980s, Louis Belzile composes his paintings around somber masses, more or less important (darkness and matter) and dazzling light.
The Quebec artist painter’s works are found in many public and private collections. His paintings are exhibited in major museums in Quebec and Canada.
Louis Belzile (1929-2019)
The geometric period of the painter Louis Belzile is relatively short. It was not until the 1950s that he really approached this language. Until then, he had designed paintings of a traditional style and some of Cubist inspiration, but his works always retained a recognizable link with physical reality. In the early 1950s, he studied with French artist André Lothe, an experience that left traces in his production at the time. The creation of works linked to the movement of visual artists stopped at the beginning of the 1960s. Subsequently, he conceived some paintings where light asserted itself in its literal transcription. This short series announces the language he will make his own from the mid-1970s.
In the meantime, Belzile addresses two trends that are practically opposite to each other. One at the limit of figuration, generates architectural landscapes with the geometrized and surrounded invoice, sometimes animated with a wave-like touch, while the other is frankly figurative and symbolic. When he returns to a non-figurative painting, it is in a very suggestive way, in paintings where light plays an important descriptive role. It is a bit as though the artist then offered us a synthesis of the pictorial languages which, from its beginnings, generated a painting constantly oscillating between a geometric rendering and an expressionist touch.
Source : Robert Bernier, La peinture au Québec depuis les années 1960, Les Éditions de l’Homme, 2002, Belzile Louis Belzile (1929), pages 92-93.