Canadian Grand Master, painter, Claude Le Sauteur was born in Pentecost River, in Quebec in 1926 (died in 2007). He studied at the École des beaux-arts de Québec. Pupil of Jean-Paul Lemieux and of Jean-Philippe Dallaire, the works of Claude Le Sauteur are robust compositions with multiple facets where intermingle sky, people, forests, curves of shoulders and mountains. Le Sauteur used various techniques such as oil on canvas, pastel and charcoal on paper. He also worked engraving, illustrated books and published serigraphs and lithographs. Claude Le Sauteur marked visual arts of Quebec by the dynamism and rhythm of his pictures which never cease to amaze.
“Figurative painting has experienced from the second half of the twentieth century, if not a crisis, profound questioning. Indeed, under the pressure of abstraction, it was necessary for him to go beyond the theme of the painting and to find its place in modernity … And among the figurative painters of this period who arrived there, Claude Le Sauteur is certainly one of those who have distinguished themselves.
Modern while remaining faithfull to the pictorial tradition, painting of Claude Le Sauteur is distinguished by its flat tints applied in successive layers as well as its aesthetic world where colour plays an important role. Methodical, his art is constructed with rigour, and this both in terms of structure and harmonies. His work is in the continuity of that of Jean-Philippe Dallaire, on the one hand, and Jean Paul Lemieux, on the other hand, for his solemn side. ” Robert Bernier
Artist Quebec painter Claude Le Sauteur has participated in numerous exhibitions in Quebec and Ontario. Several articles in various newspapers and journals were devoted to him. He is strongly present in many of the major art galleries across Canada and his work is in many public and private collections.
Of all the artists associated with traditional painting, Claude Le Sauteur is undoubtedly the most modern. Neither the composition of his works nor the themes he addresses in his paintings are directly related to artists such as Francesco Iacurto, Léo Ayotte or Littorio Del Signore. Treating his subjects in a much more stylized way, he does not hesitate to reorganize the real in a fundamentally different order, and above all, he advocates an aestheticism detached from the representation of physical reality. The modern dimension of his approach lies in the deformation of his characters, in the stylization of the landscape and in his daring use of color. This approach is reminiscent of the works of Jean Dallaire, who was also his teacher at the École des Beaux-arts in Quebec. Le Sauteur remains eminently personal in his approach. He obviously succeeded in creating a language of his own.
The modernity of Le Sauteur is still part of the tradition, since the importance of aesthetics and chromatic harmonies comes from modern tradition. What is more, the artist stylizes his space by drawing heavily on cubism, while taking care to use geometric construction to serve aesthetic values and not, like cubist painters, to create a new codification of the surface by the deconstruction-reconstruction of the subject. This is why the modernity that characterizes his work overlaps tradition. Le Sauteur does not question the pictorial bases, he does not seek in any way to question the presence of the subject and the narrative content, nor the placement of the elements in the rectangle of the canvas. The first quality of the artist is therefore neither audacity nor novelty. However, and this is his greatest strength, he pushes to its climax the aesthetic values of the work as few artists have managed to do. Whether one is a fan of the pictorial tradition, or not, one must admit that Le Sauteur possesses, in terms of his profession, all the attributes of a great painter.
For the quality of his work, Claude Le Sauteur occupies a privileged place in our painting. His paintings, especially since the early 1990s, are a vibrant tribute to a plastic maturity that is always expressed with unusual know-how.
Source : Robert Bernier, La peinture au Québec depuis les années 1960, Les Éditions de l’Homme, 2002, Le Sauteur Claude Le Sauteur, ARC (1926), pages 298-299.