Guido Molinari

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Guido Molinari
Born(1933-10-12)October 12, 1933
DiedFebruary 21, 2004(2004-02-21) (aged 70)
Nationality Canadian
Education École des beaux-arts de Montréal (1948-1950); the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1951), studying with Marian Scott and Gordon Webber
Known for Painting
Spouse(s) Fernande Saint-Martin (m. 1958)

Guido Molinari CM RCA (October 12, 1933 – February 21, 2004) was a Canadian artist, known for his abstract paintings.



Molinari was born in Montreal, Quebec to Italian heritage with his parents from Cune (Borgo a Mozzano, Tuscany) and Naples, Campania. He began painting at age 13, and his existentialist approach to art was formed during a bout with tuberculosis at age 16, during which he read Nietzsche, Sartre, Piaget, and Camus. He studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal (1948-1950) and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (1951), studying with Marian Scott and Gordon Webber. [1] [2]

He practiced abstraction in New York, inspired by Barnett Newman, and Jackson Pollock, then returned to Montreal where he founded the Galerie L’Actuelle and helped create the Non-Figurative Artists Association. [1] He married Fernande Saint-Martin in 1958. Throughout the 1960s, Molinari made works consisting of vertical bands of equal width placed on a flat picture plane. The National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery each acquired a canvas from the Stripe series, as it is called, and one of the series was included in the important group exhibition The Responsive Eye held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, along with works by artists such as Frank Stella. [3] Works of the Stripe series by Molinari along with works by Ulysse Comtois represented Canada at the 1968 Venice Biennale. [4] He won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1967, [5] was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1971, and won the Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas in 1980. [1] He was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. [6]

He taught for 27 years at Sir George Williams University and Concordia University, and retired in 1997. [1] In 2004, Concordia recognized him with a posthumous honorary doctorate. [7]

His work is known for its focus on modular and contrasting colours, shapes, and lines. It was exhibited worldwide, including in shows at the National Gallery of Canada, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, and in the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

An avid art collector, his extensive private collection included the work of Mondrian and the manuscript pages of Mondrian`s original defition of Neo-Plasticism (1926), [8] Matisse, John Cage, Jasper Johns, and Quebec artists Denis Juneau, John Lyman, and Ozias Leduc. His obituary in the National Post quoted the then director of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Matthew Teitelbaum, as saying he owned Barnett Newman, Richard Serra, Francis Bacon, Piet Mondrian and Ellsworth Kelly. [9]

Guido Molinari died of pneumonia after having bone cancer which migrated from his lungs. [9]



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  2. MacDonald, Colin S. (1979). A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, vol. 4 (Thirdt ed.). Ottawa: Canadian Paperbacks Publishing. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  3. Seitz, William C. (1965). The responsive eye (PDF). New York: MOMA. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  4. "Past Canadian Exhibitions". National Gallery of Canada at the Venice Biennale. National Gallery of Canada. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  5. "Guido Molinari". Guggenheim Fellowship. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  6. "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  7. "Guido Molinari". Concordia University, Montreal. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  8. Murray, Joan. "Molinari and Mondrian: The Spirit of Destruction". Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2002, p. 16. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  9. 1 2 Osborne, Catherine (29 February 2004). "Nine things you need to know…". National Post.
  10. Mutation serielle verte-rouge
  11. Blue Quantifier #25
  12. Guido Molinari : The Colour of Memory Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine