An Ottawa resident since emigrating from Belgium, Henri Masson, O.C., LL.D., RCA (1907-1996) painted the towns of Hull, Ottawa and the Gatineau region landscapes near his home. In every season, Masson painted the activities of ordinary french townsfolk strolling, skating and enjoying life.
Although often grouped with artists such as Stanley Cosgrove, Goodridge Roberts and Marc-Aurele Fortin—the generation of important artists after the Group of Seven—Masson’s signature style sets him apart. His vigorous brushwork, fluidity, vibrant colour and figurative subjects remained unchanged by fashion as he followed his own personal vision. Figures are always in set in motion with his free, impressionistic and confident use of pure colour.
Masson was passionate about painting, using his own detailed field sketches for major works. His paintings reveal the artist’s love of this country, an intimacy with the nature of the region and an affection for its people. Masson presents our cultural heritage through his original style. His work is widely collected and appreciated as an enduring contribution to Canadian art.
National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario); Ottawa Art Gallery (Ottawa, Ontario); Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, Ontario); Musée du Québec; Beaverbrook Art Gallery (Fredericton, New Brunswick); Art Gallery of Hamilton (Hamilton, Ontario); Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa, Ontario); Art Gallery of Saskatoon (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan); Art Gallery of Windsor (Windsor, Ontario); London Regional Art and Historical Museums (London, Ontario); Art Gallery of Winnipeg (Winnipeg, Manitoba); Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta); Art Gallery of Vancouver (Vancouver, British Columbia); Art Gallery of Victoria (Victoria, British Columbia); Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan); Concordia University (Montréal, Ontario); Hart House (Toronto, Ontario); University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario); University College; University of Montréal (Montréal, Québec); Memorial University (St. John’s, Newfoundland); McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario); Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery (Regina, Saskatoon); Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston, Ontario); Musee de Joliette (Joliette, Québec); National Gallery of Art of Venezuela (Caracas, Venezuela); Viña del Mar Museum (Viña del Mar, Chile); Israel Museum (Jerusalem, Israel); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C, United States).
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