Paul Beliveau

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The Artist in His Own Words

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Born in 1954, Paul Béliveau attained his Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from Laval University in 1977.  Recognized for his expertise in drawing, engraving and painting he has since then had more than a hundred solo exhibitions across Canada, the United States and Europe. A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, he is the recipient of numerous prizes and visual arts grants from the Canada Council and the Ministère des Affaires Culturelles du Québec.  His works can be found in many public and private collections throughout the country including UBS Bank, Toronto; Bain Capital, Boston; the Musée du Québec; the National Museum of Poznan, Pologne;  Alberta University, Edmonton and Air Canada among numerous others.  

On the Vanitas

From the collected to the imagined, focusing on history, biography and culture, Paul Beliveau creates a dialogue and interrelationship through carefully constructed compositions of book spines, contesting concepts of time, and the finiteness and infiniteness of culture. In 17th-century Vanitas paintings “the represented objects are symbolic of the fragility and brevity of life, the passing of time, death,” Béliveau explains. “Among all these symbolic objects, the human skull, a symbol of death, is one of the most common. We find this memento mori (remember that you will die) in the symbols of human activities: knowledge, science, wealth, outrageous sexual pleasures, pristine beauty, etc. The Vanities denounce the relativity of knowledge and the vanity of mankind submitted to the passage of time and death....At a time when the book seems endangered, the Vanitas series testifies to the fragility of our media, like the book, and perhaps also to painting." Béliveau invents his titles, “creating false books on real subjects.” The size of the paintings precludes their being perceived simply as accomplished still lifes. The viewer must enter into the dialogue among the book titles and images and can’t escape the relationships and “multiple references that reflect our current society.”  

"Beliveau's work stimulates with colorful visual impact, thought provoking, and often amusing juxtapositions of images and text." - American Art Collector 2015

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