1916 - 1965
Described as one of the greatest artists to emerge from the Ottawa-Hull region, Jean-Philippe Dallaire was born in Hull, Quebec and raised in a working-class family. He started his artistic career by studying painting at l’École technique at the age of 16, and later moved to study at the Central Technical School of Toronto.
With the support of a Quebec government scholarship, Dallaire traveled to Paris and studied at the Atelier d’art sacré and l’Académie André Lhote in 1938. It was during his stay in Paris that he became familiar with works by Cubist and Surrealist painters. Thus, his work has been influenced by, and regularly compared to, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Joan Miró and other European Cubist and Surrealist masters. From 1940 to 1944, Dallaire was held prisoner in an internment camp at St. Denis due to the German occupation of France. However, he continued to paint still lifes and portraits, eventually returning to Canada through London in 1945. Following his return to Canada, Dallaire taught at l’École des beaux-arts in Quebec City from 1946 to 1952. He then worked for the National Film Board from 1952 to 1958, where he produced animated films on historic and folkloric subjects.
During this time period, his work incorporated elements of tapestry, Cubism and abstraction. Dallaire exhibited internationally in Paris, São Paolo, Seattle and San Francisco, winning the admiration of both critics and collectors. His paintings consistently feature superb draftsmanship and spontaneity in choice of subject and colour. He often used humour and caricature in his work, commenting on politics, authority and societal relationships.
Following his time working with the National Film Board, Dallaire moved to Montreal, where he painted for the next two years. In 1959, he decided to permanently move to Europe. Dallaire died of heart failure at the age of 49 while living in Vence in southern France, prematurely ending his memorable career as a mural artist, illustrator, painter and teacher.