Wo Ist Ein Zigarrengeschaft?, 1954
oil on canvas
80.8 x 63.6 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John A. MacAulay, Q.C.
The oddly titled Wo Ist Ein Zigarrengeschaft? (Where is the cigar shop?), reveals something of the direct and spontaneous way the Quebec-born Jean-Philippe Dallaire approached painting. Influenced by the French artist Jean Dubuffet, Surrealism, and by children’s art, he was himself largely self-taught as an artist. At the outbreak of World War II, Dallaire was living and painting in France, where he had become a colleague of fellow Quebecois artist Alfred Pellan. He was a prisoner of war in German-occupied France, returning to Canada only in 1946. Dallaire’s subject is at once merry and macabre, humanoid and machine-like, and the painting itself blurs the line between figuration and abstraction.