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Louis Muhlstock – Sitting Nude – 1960

Description

Louis Muhlstock, Jewish Canadian draughtsman and painter (Narajow, then Austria-Hungary 23 April 1904 – Montréal, 26 August 2001), best known as a painter of the Depression. Muhlstock immigrated to Montréal in 1911 and worked for his family’s fruit-importing firm. He studied art at night at the Monument National and Art Association of Montreal (now the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) and participated in his first exhibition at the Royal Canadian Academy in 1925. He then moved to Paris in 1928, where he spent three years studying with figure painter Louis Biloul at the École des beaux-arts and sketching at l’Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Montparnasse, a private art school whose famous alumni include Amadeo Modigliani and Jean-Paul Riopelle. During this time, he exhibited at the Paris salons. He returned to Montreal in 1931 and set up his own studio, becoming a full-time painter and teaching drawing. He sketched unemployed men in nearby Fletcher’s Field, capturing the spirit of the times in sensitive drawings in chalk or charcoal often done on wrapping paper. He evoked his east-end neighbourhood in vibrant street scenes from the market on St Lawrence-Main or shadowed yards. During WWII he sketched riveters at the Montréal shipyards, shown as War Workers, 1945. Muhlstock received recognition in 1937 from Douglas Duncan of the Picture Loan Society, Toronto. During the 1950s and 1960s he held one-man shows at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Waddington Galleries; in 1972 at the Verdun Cultural Centre. In 1976 the Windsor Art Gallery exhibited “45 Years of Muhlstock”; in 1978 he showed at Place des Arts, and in 1986 Concordia University showed “New Theme and Variations.” By this time Muhlstock’s work was almost entirely abstract. In September of 1996, an 80-piece retrospective exhibited Muhlstock’s work at galleries in Québec, as well as in Edmonton. Muhlstock, who continued to paint daily at his home in Montreal until his death, called his work “a moment in time only.”

Muhlstock was a member of the Canadian Society of Graphic Artists, the Canadian Group of Painters, the Contemporary Arts Society, the Federation of Canadian Artists and the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour. He held an honorary doctorate from Concordia University (1978) and was an Officer of the Order of Canada (1991) and Knight of the Order of Quebec (1998). He was also one of the members of a collective called the Jewish Painters of Montreal, who have been exhibited in public galleries across Canada. In 2009 the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec mounted a touring exhibition Jewish Painters of Montreal: a Witness to their time 1930-1948 which renewed interest in the group in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

References: The Canadian Encyclopedia; National Gallery of Canada; Trépanier, Esther. Jewish Painters of Montreal: Witnesses of their Time 1930-1948. Montreal: Éditions de l’Homme, 2008.

 

Artist: Louis Muhlstock (1904-2001).

Signed and dated 1960, titled on reverse.

Medium: Pastel on paper.

Condition: Very good condition.

Dimensions: 63.5 x 48.5 cm. / 25 x 19 in.

Frame: 90 x 73 cm. / 35 x 28.5 in. Wood, with glass.

Provenance: Private collection, Ottawa, Canada.

 

Price on request