Born in Montreal, P.Q., he became fascinated with the work of Van Gogh before he entered art school. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1944-49) where he received his diploma. After his graduation he did little or no painting. Returning to his easel he had his paintings accepted for the annual Montreal Spring Shows of 1951, 52, and 53. He exhibited as well in the Quebec Provincial Exhibition of 1952 and in 1954 held his first one man show at Gallery XII of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. His paintings of this period were derived from the influences of artists like Mondrian, Doesburg, Kandinsky, Malevitch as well as the Cubists. In his methodical study of space he was moved in 1955 to compose in collaboration with Belzile, Jauran (Rodolphe de Repentigny) and Toupin the Manifeste des Plasticiens a reaction against the paintings of the Borduas camp which the Plasticiens considered overly facile. In 1956 Jérôme became a member of the Non-Figurative Artists Association of Montreal. This same year he sailed for France to pursue further study in art and also travelled in Italy, Switzerland and Austria. It was in 1957 during his one man show at Galerie Arnaud that Jean Simard, noted Montreal art critic, first saw Jérôme’s paintings and was struck by the intensely Canadian and northern colours of his work. Jérôme returned to Montreal in 1958 and in 1959 held a solo show at the Denyse Delrue Gallery for which a catalogue was produced with text by Simard. It was here that Simard5 explained how he found Jerome’s work bewitching, filled with dreams, nostalgia, solitude and love. And how the artist divided his composition into two unequal rectangles which he then carefully filled with raw colours. Dorothy Pfeiffer6 of The Gazette found that his work reminded her of Bible scenes especially his paintings of reeds. Other works which had the qualities of the Northern Lights made her think what good designs for stained-glass windows in modern cathedrals they would make. Jérôme had on his return to Montreal joined the staff of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Montreal, while he also continued with his development as painter. In 1960 he held a solo show of abstract pastels at Galerie Libre. It was in these pastels that the reviewer for La Presse found the qualities which indicated to him that Jérôme would make a good theatre decorator because of his sense of space, sense of depth, and a sense of a certain living breathing relief enveloped by mystery and drama, with his colours admirably chosen for the play of lighting.
Colin S. MacDonald
A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 (online only), by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker
National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada
Born in Montreal in 1928, Jean-Paul Jerome studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Montreal from 1945 to 1952 and the fresco techniques with Stanley Cosgrove. In 1955, he was a founder of the Group of Plastic and cosigner of their manifesto. He lived in Paris from 1956 to 1958, where he attended diligently the Galerie Denise René, Arnaud, Gallery of France. It binds with the painters Hartung, Mortensen and Barre. Back in Canada, he is a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Montreal, and the Catholic School Board, and Sorel (1965-1966). He holds a solo exhibition at Gilles Corbeil in 1972. In 1973 he gave up teaching. It creates a tapestry that will be performed at the Ateliers de Saint-Cyr in Paris by Pierre weaver Daquin. In 1974, after fifteen years of living in the countryside on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence Saint-Ours on the Richelieu, he moved to Montreal. Include the works of Jerome in many public and private collections in Canada.
Jean-Paul Jérôme has to his credit numerous solo exhibitions, including the following locations: the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal in 1954 at the Current Gallery in Montreal in 1955 at the Galerie Arnaud in Paris in 1957; to Denyse Delrue Gallery Montreal in 1959 to free gallery Montreal in 1960, and at the Cultural Center of Tracy in 1968 at Galerie Gilles Corbeil in Montreal in 1972 at the Galerie Bernard Desroches in Montreal in 1974 and so on. In addition, Jerome participated in many group exhibitions, including: the Spring Exhibition of the Museum of Fine Arts Montreal, the Échourie Gallery of Montreal in 1955, the National Gallery of Canada in 1959, the Panorama painting in Quebec 1940-1966 Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal in 1967, the two B Gallery, Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu in 1972, the Galerie Bernard Desroches of Montreal in 1973-74, the Gallery Opus 1 (Ontario ) in 1974, III drawings Quebec the Contemporary Art Museum of Montreal in 1976 and so on.
Place Jean-Paul Jérôme in our national history of art:
Among the major artistic movements of the 1950s, the visual motion (Jerome, Toupin, Belzile, Jauran) is undoubtedly the least known. However, he scored in a profound way the Quebec art following decades. Major artists such as Jean-Paul Jérôme and lived in the dark while their overall production deserves the greatest admiration. It is in this spirit that the Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent has been working for several years to emphasize the exceptional artistic production of Plastic. The largest collection of visual artists in Canada works has been made by the Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent and major exhibitions are held on each member of this movement. Modern Vibrations Jean-Paul Jerome, an exhibition presented in 2001 by the Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, is in this vein. In our view, Jean-Paul Jérôme is a tenor in the history of art in Quebec.
Jean-Paul Jerome plastic the first time:
Signatory to the Manifesto of Plastic in 1955, Jean-Paul Jérôme got straight in the history of art in Quebec. With Jauran (Rodolphe de Repentigny), Louis Belzile and Fernand Toupin, he became fascinated rigorous worldview where the geometry is considered the most representative event of expressive possibilities. Rejecting the creative accident and the sensitivity of the instantaneous and gesture Automatistes, these artists have allowed the development of abstract pictorial research based on notions of reason, purity and order.
By their own concerns, they paved the way for pictorial research of the 1960s, think by optical art. In this vein, offering an alternative to visual vision, Jerome and his friends have paved the way for the explosion of artistic vision that characterizes our contemporary relationship to culture.
Jean-Paul Jerome — a work in which the geometry is combined with life:
Throughout his career, Jean-Paul Jérôme remained fascinated by the geometric construction of the table. By cons, geometry in Jerome, far from being sterile or redundant, puts up a rational basis of his vision built pictorial space. It is vibrant, bustling and dynamic, rejecting the simple lines and stable compositions. Its colors, naturalistic or anti-naturalists, hot or cold, all reflect a concern for harmony.
One thing is clear from the work of Jerome. For him, energy and vitality seem fundamental. In fact, what is most fascinating about his work is that he chose the visual way to express values that are generally associated with more intuitive aspirations Automatistes.
Courtesy Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent