Pierre Lefebvre was born in Hull, Quebec, in 1954. He has been painting full time since 1980 and he had his first exhibition in 1981 in his home town.
He moved to Montreal in 1982, exhibited in Ottawa and Toronto and in 1987 he decided to spend some time in France. For a year he moved back and forth from Ile St. Louis in Paris to the south of France, painting in anticipation of his first solo exhibition in Montreal.
On his return to Montreal in 1988 he exhibited his paintings at the Galerie de Bellefeuille. As of April 2001 the Galerie Jean-Pierre Valentin represents Mr. Lefebvre’s work
Pierre Lefebvre paints portraits, interior scenes and still lifes. In his portraits, there is a subtle reference to the artist himself; these individuals are very distinguished and reserved. The women in his work have an enigmatic, introspective quality to them which can at times also project a haughtiness. Figures placed in the foreground take up most of the canvas. The majority are single portraits in which the women may be seated, perhaps holding a book or just patiently waiting, or they may be carrying out some task such as setting a table.
The standing nude figures look somewhat ill at ease, more reserved and timid. Nudes set in an interior scene are turned in on themselves, sometimes cloaked in lengths of diaphanous material. There is no sense of the coquette in these images which are set to perfection by the artist in a contrasting atmosphere of light and shade.
His compositions are structured, often geometric and always engaging. In many of his canvases the eye is drawn down into the painting, inviting the viewer in.
Pierre Lefebvre’s portraits and still life’s project an atmosphere of mystery and tranquility. When we examine carefully the details in his work, we realize that the artist employs a very skillful symbolism to project human separation. For instance, a jagged outline of draped material leads to a broken goblet spilling red wine over the pages of an open book. The choice of a lemon placed next to the goblet is not by chance. Nor is the spilt wine staining the pages of the book an aimless gesture. Every detail is meticulously thought out. The artist plans his subject before starting to work on the canvas, developing a general outline of what the finished painting will be. Once his ideas have come together, the paint brush flies across the canvas transcribing what Lefebvre has mentally created.
Pierre Lefebvre paints in oil. His colours can at times be intense but unobtrusive. Some paintings appear monochromatic even though the colours chosen are not from the same colour group. This may be the result of his brush strokes drawing out the colour; a vigorous brush, a sure and determined stroke, nervous but precise. In applying the colour in short brush strokes in different directions, he enlivens the surface of the work and the colour as a consequence gains in nuance what it loses in intensity.
To quote Michčle Lauzon in a 1995 statement about the artist, “whether through colour, light or emotion, little by little Pierre Lefebvre has succeeded in establishing a balance in his paintings, affirming the undeniable talent of the artist.”
SELECT SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2006 Galerie Jean-Pierre Valentin, Montreal
2004 Galerie Jean-Pierre Valentin, Montreal
2002 Galerie Jean-Pierre Valentin, Montreal
1995 Galerie Vincent, Ottawa
1993 Galerie de Bellefeuille, Montreal
1991 Galerie Vincent, Ottawa
1989 Galerie Montcalm, Hull
1988 Galerie de Bellefeuille, Montreal
1986 Galerie Vincent, Ottawa
1984 Kinsman-Robinson Galleries, Toronto
1983 Galerie Vincent, Ottawa
1981 Galerie Gerard Raymond, Hull
SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2008 “Quebec Artists – Then and Now,” Roberts Gallery, Toronto
2003-2012 Artist Choice, Roberts Gallery, Toronto