Canadian Grand Master, painter, caricaturist and illustrator, André L’ Archevêque was born in Montreal in 1923 (death in 2015). He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Montreal, at the Montreal Graphic Guild, University Sir George Williams and Famous Artists School in New York. Research internships in France allow him to study the technique of drypoint to Lacourière Frélaut workshop of Paris.
«In the Quebec world of figurative painting, André L’Archevêque had, during the 1980s, the effect of an artistic bombshell. The galleries that represent him failed to meet demand as collectors looking for one of his rare paintings were numerous.
“In the world of landscape art, André L’ Archevêque marks the paintings from Quebec of the 1970s and 1980s. His art was undergoing incredible enthusiasm. So it was very difficult to get hold of one of his works. Today, if the demand is not the same, L’Archevêque is nevertheless an original landscape painter in a segment of pictorial expression that offers little new approaches. His always smooth touch dresses the look of a simple pleasure but how significant. We could not assert that this painter left an indelible mark on our history of art, but some of his works still provide great pleasure to the eye. A creator whose work can still surprise in the future … ” Robert Bernier
Quebec artist painter, works of André L’Archevêque are found in countless private and corporate collections in Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland and France.
[…] His style appeared, in the middle, as a renewed representation of nature, although the foundations of his visual language were attached to tradition. In appearance contradictory, this statement nevertheless has the merit of showing how landscape painting has suffered from the absence of new visions. L’Archevêque gives us a very careful design which gives his works a poetic imprint of great beauty. Its unctuous and fragmented touch leads the viewer into a fairy-like space which is however anchored in reality in a very tangible way.
L’Archevêque has long worked as an illustrator in the field of advertising. Many of his graphic designs have become classics, including his achievement for Quebec milk producers and for La Prudentielle, which recount notorious sporting achievements such as Canada’s hockey victory against Russia. Previously, his many covers of popular books earned him a certain notoriety. His extraordinary manual dexterity enabled him to design pictorial works of a rarely achieved plastic quality, but also, paradoxically, poorly served him on certain occasions by making him switch into an atmosphere that was too illustrative, not to say blue flower. It is because the climates, the representations created by L’Archevêque remain fragile spaces threatened to fall easily into the sign of exacerbated romanticism.
Of all the talents of L’Archevêque, we must not neglect that of a colorist, which significantly marks his paintings. We find little equivalent in landscape painting, and even in Quebec painting as a whole. Its chromatic harmonies are simply breathtaking, grandiose. The artist always manages to find tonal variations that give his palette an exemplary richness. Never too strong or soft, its iridescent designs offer their splendor to the eye. His most significant works consist of landscapes excluding all human traces […]
Source : Robert Bernier, La peinture au Québec depuis les années 1960, Les Éditions de l’Homme, 2002, L’Archevȇque André L’Archevȇque (1923), pages 296-297.