British Columbia art collectors Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa donated eight paintings by Quebec artist Paul-Émile Borduas to the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ).
The eight paintings, which are valued at nearly $9 million collectively, date from the 1950s: Frog on blue background (1944), Arabesque (1955), Graphics (1955), Blackhead Modulation (1955), Schematic figures (1956),Cattery (1957), Untitled (1957), Untitled (1959).
This art donation comes after Audain and Karasawa donated 39 works by artist Jean Paul Riopelle from their family foundation to the MNBAQ.
Jean-Luc Murray, executive director of the MNBAQ, said the generosity of BC patrons illustrates their respect for Borduas’ work.
“Their donation not only repatriates to Quebec the emblematic works of an artist who is an integral part of the history of Quebec art, but also helps to revive our collective memory of a decisive period in our province. These outstanding collectors deserve our deepest appreciation and gratitude,” said Murray.
Audain echoed Murray’s sentiments regarding the patrons’ deep respect for the artist’s work.
“Through this gift, Yoshi and I wish to highlight the artist’s audacity, courage and uncompromising pursuit of artistic freedom. His painting was both innovative and captivating,” Audain said.
“Borduas stimulated a whole generation of young men and women to free themselves from the shackles of dead-end artistic practices to embrace the right to cultural freedom. While we will miss the works back home, we are thrilled to return a significant body of work by Borduas working in his native Quebec.
Starting February 24, 2022, the MNBAQ will host the exhibition featuring Bordoua’s masterpieces, entitled Latent energies. Paul-Émile Borduas in the present. The gift of Michael J. Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa.