1931 - 2004
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Edmund Alleyn was born in Quebec City in 1931 and studied art at the École des Beaux-Arts du Quebec under Jean-Paul Lemieux. By the age of 24, Alleyn had won the Grand Prix aux Concours artistiques de la Province de Québec and a grant from the Royal Society, which enabled him to move to France in 1955. He lived and exhibited his work there until 1971. Upon his return to Quebec, he settled in Montreal and taught visual arts at the University of Ottawa.
A highly versatile artist, Alleyn produced a stylistically diverse and rich body of work including paintings, drawings and multimedia installations. It is almost impossible to fit his oeuvre into any single style or school of art. Various series serve as indicators of his artistic focus at specific periods in his life.
In the 1950s, Alleyn explored abstraction, influenced by Jean-Paul Riopelle, Paul-Émile Borduas, Alfred Pellan and Russian artist Nicholas de Stael. Searching for a more personal style and new challenges, he began to incorporate Native American symbols in his paintings the following decade. By the 1970s, Alleyn’s work reflected his interest in science and technology, man and machine, as he explored installation art as a form of expression. Upon his return to Quebec, Alleyn turned his attention to more representational, stylized depictions of people, places and ordinary objects.
Alleyn won a bronze medal at the São Paulo Bienniale in 1959 and represented Canada the following year at the Venice Bienniale. His art is collected by the most prestigious institutions in the contemporary art scene as well as by private collectors in North America and Europe.