Jean-Paul Mousseau

Jean-Paul Mousseau (January 1, 1927 – February 7, 1991) was a Quebec artist. He was a student of Paul-Émile Borduas and a member of the Automatist school. He was a founding member of the Association on Non-Figurative Artists of Montreal. He designed murals for the Hydro-Québec building and the Peel Metro station in Montreal.

Jean-Paul Mousseau
Born(1927-01-01)January 1, 1927
DiedFebruary 7, 1991(1991-02-07) (aged 64)
WebsiteJean-Paul Mousseau

Early careerEdit

Jean-Paul Mousseau studied painting at the age of thirteen while at the College Notre-Dame in Montreal under Frère Jérome (1940–45). He became a student of Paul-Emile Borduas at the Ecole du Meuble, Montreal. He was a member of the group of painters known as the Automatistes. In 1948, he was one of the signatories of the Refus global manifesto.

At the end of the 1950s he was one of the first Quebec artists who saw the necessity of integrating art into the urban environment. His most important contributions are original murals and other collaborations with architects.

Montreal metroEdit

Jean-Paul Mousseau did artwork in the Montreal metro. He clashed with the metro's first art director, Robert Lapalme, who insisted that metro art be figurative, represent Montreal history, and be sponsored. Mousseau wished to open the doors to non-figurative art integrated into the architecture and accounted for in the construction budget. Lapalme held sway over the initial network, except for two works (Mousseau's circles at Peel station and Marcelle Ferron's stained glass at Champ-de-Mars).

Mousseau took over as art director after LaPalme, and his influence marked all the rest of the network, which includes works of non-figurative art integrated with the architecture. Most of the artwork was planned in accordance with the architects, and many were by the architects themselves. Works by Mousseau in the metro include the mural Opus 74 at Viau station, two murals at Honoré-Beaugrand, and a mural at Square-Victoria. He also created some sculptural lighting elements in the concert-hall of the Orford Arts Centre, in collaboration with the designer Léonard Garneau, who was in charge of the interior design of the centre.

His work is integral to Montreal's airport and several of its skyscrapers. A major work is a mural (Lumière et mouvement) in the Hydro-Québec building in Montreal.


  • 1946: Montreal Museum of Fine Art
  • 1947: Automatistes, Galerie du Luxembourg, Paris; Exhibited with Riopelle in Montreal
  • 1952: Automatistes, Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal; Biennial Exhibition of Canadian Painting, National Art Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • 1953: Automatistes, Place Des Arts, Montreal
  • 1954: "La matière Chante", Galerie Antoine, Montreal Biennial Exhibition of Canadian painting, National Art Gallery, Ottawa; "Young painters of Canada" in Belgium
  • 1955: Winnipeg Art Show (first prize); "Espace 55", Museum of Fine Art, Montreal; Galerie l'Actuelle, Montreal
  • 1956: Galerie l'Actuelle, with Riopelle, Borduas, Sam Francis, McEwen, and others
  • 1957: Exhibition of the Association of Non-Figuratives Artists of Montreal
  • 1959: The Association of Non Figurative Artists, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
  • 1960: "L'exposition Universelle de Brussels" of 20 Canadian painters, La Galerie Denyse Delrue
  • 1963: "Festival of the 2 Worlds", Spolette, Italy; Luminous Sculptures: Museum of Montreal Galerie Agnès Le Fort
  • 1964: Museum of Montreal Salon du Printemps Galerie Toninelli, Milan, Italy; Galerie 60 "Espace-temps"
  • 1967: Retropesctive "Aspects", Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal
  • 1971: "Borduas and the Automatistes" Grand Palais, Paris
  • 1980: Contemporary Art Society, Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1983: Association of Non-Figurative Artists of Montreal, Concordia University
  • 1997: Retrospective "Mousseau" Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal


  • Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal
  • National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec, Quebec City
  • Museum of Art, Joliette, Quebec
  • Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal
  • National Art Gallery, Ottawa
  • Edmonton Art Gallery
  • McGill Visual Arts Collection
  • Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario
  • University of Lethbridge Art Collections, Alberta

See alsoEdit