Paul-Émile Borduas Catalogue Raisonné

     Much about the thoughts of Paul-Émile Borduas are already known, thanks to his writings. The considerable influence that his Refus Global manifesto had is better understood on each commemoration of it, the most recent taking place in 1998. His painting should also not be forgotten. It is from this concern to give as much importance to his paintings as to his thoughts that the present project of a catalogue raisonné for Borduas was born.

     Our research consisted of tracking down all of his known works, drawings, watercolours, gouaches, photos, oil paintings, sculptures, etc., reviewing the publications which mentioned them, and indicating which had been presented in exhibitions during his lifetime or after his death.

     Certainly, our research is far from being finished. For the moment we are not able to put on-line the illustrations which normally accompany any catalogue raisonné. These illustrations exist however and we are only waiting for the financial aid necessary to help us pay the copyright expenses. Thousands of pieces of data are yet to be added to those that we currently make available to the public, which have already initiated several interesting research projects. We have included a detailed CHRONOLOGY of the life of Borduas. Importantly, a BIBLIOGRAPHY allows the reader to search in an already considerable body of writings about Borduas and his work.

     Begun thanks to a grant by the The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), this large-scale enterprise proposes to ally the required accurate research with new technologies, among others the Internet. The present catalogue is one of the major projects of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Research Institute for Studies in Canadian Art of Concordia University.

     Our hope is that, because of this electronic catalogue raisonné, Paul-Émile Borduas’ work will be more widely known and that the connections between his paintings and his writings will become the subject of insightful new research.

François-Marc Gagnon