Pierre GauvreauPierre Gauvreau, painter (born at Montréal 23 Aug 1922; died there 7 April 2011). In 1941, while a student at Montréal's École des beaux-arts, he discovered French modernism through magazine reproductions. His works made under this influence attracted Paul-Émile BORDUAS, who invited Gauvreau to join the radical young artists and intellectuals who met informally in his studio. Like them, Gauvreau and his poet brother (Claude GAUVREAU) became interested in the surrealist idea of automatism as a way of releasing creativity.
In 1943 Gauvreau and others were invited to exhibit with the Contemporary Art Society, which fostered Québec's most adventurous art. Gauvreau remained associated with this circle, and became part of the group known as the AUTOMATISTES, who with others produced the 1948 manifesto REFUS GLOBAL. By the mid-1950s, Gauvreau was using looser, more gestural imagery in his work, and was also working for the new medium of TV as a writer, director and producer. He stopped painting in the early 1960s and did not start again until 1975. His later work continued his exploration of gesture and calligraphy.