Jean-Paul Jérôme artist-painter, draftsman, sculptor, plastician, central figure of abstraction in Quebec was born in Montreal, Quebec on February 19, 1928 (died August 14, 2004). He studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal from 1945 to 1952. Jean-Paul Jérôme was one of the signatories of the “Manifeste Plasticiens” (which dissociates itself from Automatistes) and co-founder of this movement in 1955 with Jauran (Rodolphe de Repentigny), Louis Belzile and Fernand Toupin. He stayed in Paris from 1956 to 1958. In 1978, he became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Jean-Paul Jérôme expressed his art through several mediums such as: acrylic, wood, ceramic, ink, oil, brass, pastel, tapestry, glass, etc. In the “Manifeste Plasticiens” the group indicates that “the Plasticians attach themselves above all, in their work, to the plastic facts: tone, texture, forms, lines, the final unity that is the painting, and the relationships between these elements, elements assumed as ends.” “All my life, I loved the purity of the form, the resonance of the color.” Jean-Paul Jérôme
Jean-Paul Jérôme’s works can be found in several public or private collections in Canada (including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Canadian Museum of Fine Arts, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Museum of Beaux-arts du Québec, the Musée d’art de Joliette, the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke, the Musée régional de Rimouski, the Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, etc.) and in Europe.
Jean-Paul Jérôme’s work will pass through several phases during his long career. In the mid-1950s, he designed works which, although already non-figurative and with a geometric tendency, remained suggestive. The paintings from this period bear a kinship, distant but no less real, with those of Cubist inspiration, which he realized in the very early 1950s.
His plastic preoccupation, to modulate the surface by a play of dynamic forms, results in an interaction of masses created by a certain formal fluidity. The works of 1954-1955 are, in this sense, particularly inspired. Very early, however, he abandoned the geometric rigor of plastician artists. After a period of research and reflection, he returns with very suggestive abstract landscapes.
Jérôme has always shown a marked taste for change. So in his work, not only does the artist take multiple paths, but he rarely relies on the same bases for long. The pace of the various transformations is particularly rapid.
Upon his return to Montreal in 1958, after a three-year stay in Paris, Jean-Paul Jérôme began a career in teaching the plastic arts, to which he devoted himself until 1973. Thereafter, he devoted himself almost exclusively to his work. In the 1980s, his pictorial space, essentially energized by the line, became very geometric. His palette is generally composed of folded tones and earth colors. Unlike plastician artists, he explores through complex structures, a surface or depth of field plays a major role. At the beginning of the 1990s, it was an explosion. Color, lively, brilliant, sweeps over both his paintings and his sculptures. Jérôme displays a revival as we rarely see in the artistic world. Its refined forms are surrounded by masses or black lines that animate and upset the surface. The great Jérôme!
Source : Robert Bernier, La Peinture au Québec depuis les années 1960s, Les Éditions de l’Homme, 2002, Jean-Paul Jérôme (1928), pages 90-91.