Public reaction to le Refus global is swift and harsh
On Aug. 9, 1948, a handsome young group of artists and intellectuals gathered at a Montreal bookstore to launch an anti-religious and anti-establishment manifesto. Le Refus global (Total Refusal) was signed by 16 artists including such giants as Jean-Paul Riopelle and Paul-Emile Borduas. It would become one of the most important and controversial artistic and social documents in modern Quebec society.
Unable to sell his paintings, and denied art exhibitions, his health and marriage suffer.
On top of it all, the Automatists drift apart, quickly going their separate ways.
Depressed and discouraged, Borduas decides to leave Quebec for an extended period in a self-imposed exile in 1953. He spends time in New York and then from 1955 until his death in 1960 at the age of 54, he lives in Paris.
. Borduas's splashy, abstract style was considered too radical for the times but today he is recognized as one of the greatest Canadian painters of the postwar era.
Program: CBC Television News
Broadcast Date: May 4, 1988
Guest(s): Bruno Cormier
Reporter: Gerri Barrer
Last updated: April 4, 2012
Page consulted on May 12, 2014
All Clips from this Topic
Artists who sign le Refus global manifesto also come under attack.
Paul-Emile Borduas pays a heavy price for his views.
The Automatists spearhead an exciting and uniquely Canadian art moveme...
Le Refus global is hailed as the founding document of modern Quebec so...
Quebec society is under the repressive thumb of the Catholic Church an...
Fellow signatories of le Refus global refuse to attend his funeral bec...
On Aug. 9, 1948, a handsome young group of artists and intellectuals g...
Le Refus global (Total Refusal), one of the most influential artistic ...