Illustrated Chronology

1933
Born in Montreal on October 12th; son of Charles, a musician, and of Evelyne Dini, the daughter of a moulder of religious statues. Baptised under the name Dino Benito Claudio Guy Molinari.

1944-1945
Frequents Sherbrooke Street galleries with brother-in-law Lucien Riel and friend Léopold Dufresne, a companion of Borduas.

1947
Begins to paint. Wins the first prize in a competition organized by newspaper Photo-Journal. In an article about the work Paysage by the 13 year-old youngster, the newspaper stated: “We congratulate the artist for his lovely painting and encourage him to work with courage in order to one day become a great Canadian painter”.

1948-1949
Leaves high school. Registers for evening courses at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal, in basic drawing. Contracts tuberculosis in a metalworking shop where he worked during the day, and compelled to cease all activity for several months.

1951
April: Passes year-end night school examinations at the ÉBAM and won first prize for drawing. Registers for courses at the art school of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, known for greater freedom. Discovers the art of Jackson Pollock in a special edition of Life Magazine, and the ideas of Mondrian, in a letter by the painter to James Johnson Sweeney, published in Art News.

May: First contact with automatiste paintings at the exhibition Les étapes du vivant on Ontario Street East, organized by Jean-Paul Mousseau, Jean Lefébure and Claude Gauvreau. A regular at the La Hutte bar and restaurant, the meeting place for the followers of Borduas, becomes friends with Gauvreau. Reads the literary works of Breton, and the Refus global.

September: Accepted as a regular student at the ÉBAM but remains only for three days. Starts another evening course of the MMFA, taught by Marian Scott. Starts to paint in the dark, as means of contesting certain tenets of automatiste esthetics. Withdraws definitively from the class upon Marian Scott declaring herself unable to relate to his work.

Changes his first name to “Guido”.

1953
Takes part in La place des artistes exhibition, organized primarily by Marcelle Ferron and Robert Roussil, in three sections: painting, poetry and sculpture.

Meets Fernande Saint-Martin.

True start to the creation of abstract work, both paintings and drawings.

1954
Starts managing exhibitions at L’Échourie restaurant, where he holds his own first exhibition Molinari, dessins, in December.

Refuses to participate in La matière chante, an exhibition organized at the Antoine Gallery by Gauvreau, the works in which were selected by Borduas who made the trip expressly from New York.

No longer wishes to be in any group.  Responds to a statement in the Petit Journal newspaper that “Molinari is considered to be among the theoreticians of the automatiste movement in Montreal” by telegram stating “Have never been a part of the automatiste group – Stop – Therefore cannot be its theoretician  – Stop – I am the theoretician of Molinarism.”

1955
First trip to New York City: impressed by Kandinsky and Mondrian, Pollock and De Kooning.

Launch of the Manifeste des plasticiens at L’Échourie.

Participates in the Espace 55 exhibition at the MMFA, organized by Gilles Corbeil, about which Rodolphe de Repentigny wrote: “Molinari’s drawings occupy a special place in this exhibition.” Corbeil had invited Borduas to the opening, and the latter compared Montreal painting unfavourably to the work of the New York School. Fernand Leduc’s reaction: “Borduas is making a case for an international art: his own.”

Publishes an article titled “L’Espace tachiste ou Situation de l’automatisme” in the periodical L’Autorité, in which he takes sides in a debate between Leduc and Borduas, in favour of the latter, while revisiting the links between Cézanne, Mondrian and Pollock and the importance for any movement to promote a structure for the pictural space.

Establishes the L’Actuelle gallery, with Fernande Saint-Martin, a cultural experiment devoted exclusively to non-representational art.

Autumn: watercolours by Borduas shown at L’Actuelle.

Participates in the organization of Peinture canadienne at the École des hautes études commerciales business school, a Canada-wide exhibition set up by the students.

1956
Takes part in the establishment of the Non-Figurative Artists Association of Montreal, whose sole purpose was to organize exhibitions for its members. The first annual show of the NFAAM was held in the great hall of the Hélène de Champlain restaurant, managed by the City of Montreal Parks Department.

Creates his first Duco black and white paintings, which were shown at L’Actuelle in the Spring.

September: exhibition of American paintings at L’Actuelle, in exchange for an exhibition of nine L’Actuelle painters, entitled “Modern Canadian Painters”, at the Parma Gallery in New York City.

1957
Takes part in the “Contemporary Canadian Painters” traveling exhibition in Australia, organized by the National Gallery of Canada.
Participates in the Second Annual Exhibition of the NFAAM at the MMFA.
Shares a two-person show with Claude Tousignant at L’Actuelle.

 May: L’Actuelle closes. The Denyse Delrue Gallery takes over in September.

 1958
Exhibits his Calligraphies at the Artek Gallery in Montreal.
Takes part in the 75th Spring Show at the MMFA.

1959
Participant in the exhibition entitled Art Abstrait at the École des beaux-arts with the most dynamic members of the NFAAM, namely Belzile, Goguen, Juneau, Leduc, Molinari, Toupin and Tousignant. Introductory text by Fernande Saint-Martin in the catalogue, considered as a sort of manifesto of a new approach to non-objective art, a definite break with the art of the automatistes.
Becomes involved in the launch of the magazine Situations.

Participates in Aspects of Canadian Painting: 26 Painters under 25, at Canada House in New York City.

Takes part in Third Biennial Exhibition of Canadian Art at the National Gallery of Canada. Also present in the 1961, 1963, 1965  and 1968 versions, all of which are traveling exhibitions.

 1961
Wins the Jessie Dow Prize at the MMFA.
Takes part in the Deuxième Biennale de Paris at the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris.
A participant in the Concours artistiques du Québec 1961 at the Quebec Provincial Museum.
Exhibits with Claude Tousignant in Gallery XII at the MMFA.
His article Réflexions sur l’automatisme et le plasticisme published in the March-April number of Situations magazine.

1962
Awarded the First Prize for Painting at the 79th Spring Show  at the MMFA.

With Jean Goguen, Denis Juneau and Luigi Perciballi, part of the “Geometric Abstraction in Canada» exhibition at the Camino Gallery in New York City. Ad Reinhardt, Barnett Newman and Frank Stella attend the opening.

First foreign solo exhibition at the East Hampton Gallery, New York City. Entitled “Molinari. Paintings. First New York Showing”, one of some ten shows in which Molinari showed his work at this gallery run by former art critic Bruno Palmer-Poroner.

Well-known collector Walter P. Chrysler acquires Oppositions, a major painting from 1961 which is soon added to the collection of the Chrysler Art Museum in Provincetown.

Participates in the exhibition La Peinture Canadienne Moderne: 25 années de Peinture au Canada-français, part of the fifth Festival dei due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy.

Solo exhibition at the Galerie Nova et Vetera at the Collège de Saint-Laurent.

1963
The Museum of Modern Art in New York City acquires Asymétrique jaune, a 1959 painting selected by Alfred H. Barr and Dorothy Miller.

Teaches painting and drawing at the School of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, until 1965.
Receives first international criticism in Art News and Arts Magazine.
Solo exhibitions at the Galerie Libre and at the Penthouse Gallery, both in Montreal.

1964
Teaches at the School of Art and Design of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Participates in the 4th International Guggenheim Exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Travelling exhibition in North America, South America and Europe. The 1963 painting Structure noire is given to the Director of the Guggenheim by the Women’s Committee of the MMFA.

Participates in the 85th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, at the MMFA.

Solo exhibitions at the East Hampton Gallery in New York City, at the Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina, at the Jerrold Morris International Gallery in Toronto, at the Vancouver Art Gallery and at the Galerie du Siècle in Montreal.

Participates in the exhibition Color Dynamism: Then and Now, at the East Hampton Gallery, an ambitious exhibition organized in cooperation with the Galerie du Siècle.

1965
Receives the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts prize at the Spring Exhibition at the MMFA.

Participates in The Responsive Eye, an important exhibition at MOMA, New York City. As well as in The Deceived Eye at the Fort Worth Art Center in Texas and in 1 + 1 = 3: An Exhibition of Retinal and Perceptual Art at the University of Texas Art Museum in Austin and in Op from Montreal at the Fleming Museum in Burlington (Vermont).

Participates in the exhibition entitled Collages at the Galerie du Siècle, with Hurtubise and Tousignant.

Presents Molinari: Optical Mutation, a solo exhibition at the East Hampton Gallery in New York City.

1966
Solo exhibition Rhythmic Mutation Molinari Mutation rythmique at the East Hampton Gallery in New York City, at the Edmonton Art Gallery and at the Galerie du Siècle.

Participates in Recent Acquisition: Paintings and Sculpture, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

Receives a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation.

Participates in Museum Collections, Seven Decades: A Selection at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City.

Exhibits his Minimal Paintings of 1956 at the East Hampton Gallery, eleven years after their creation.

Participates in Espace dynamique, 1956-1967, a group retrospective organized by the Galerie du Siècle.

Participates in Statements: 18 Canadian Artists, an exhibition at the Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery, organized as part of the Centennial of Canadian Confederation celebrations.

Solo exhibition at the 20/20 Gallery in London (Ontario).

Participates in the exhibition Panorama de la peinture au Québec 1940-1966, at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, in La peinture au Canada at the Canadian Pavillion, Expo 67, Montreal and in Peinture vivante du Québec: 1966: Vingt-cinq Ans de liberation de l’oeil et du geste, at the Musée du Québec, in Quebec City.

Participates in the exhibition Prizewinners 1908-1965: Spring Exhibition, at the MMFA and in Three Centuries of Canadian Art at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

1968
Travels to Europe for the first time.

Participates in Canada Art d’aujourd’hui at the Musée national d’art modern de la Ville de Paris, organized by the National Gallery of Canada for the Canadian Department of External Affairs.

Represents Canada (with Ulysse Comtois) at the 34th Venice Biennale; wins the prize given by the David E. Bright Foundation.

Participates in Seven Montreal Artists at M.I.T. in Cambridge, with Barbeau, Tousignant, Goguen, Kiyooka, Hurtubise and Juneau.

Participates in Canada 101, at the Edinburgh College of Art, an exhibition organized by the Canada Council for the Arts, which includes 22 artists representative of the major centres of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Is among the artists selected by British artist Richard Hamilton for the exhibition Canadian Artists 68, presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Solo exhibition at the Galerie du Siècle.

1969
Becomes a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

Participates in the exhibition The Collection of the Canada Council for the Arts, at the National Gallery of Canada.

Solo exhibitions at the Galerie Sherbrooke, in Montreal, the Galerie Jolliet in Quebec City and at the Carmen Lamanna Gallery in Toronto.

1970
Appointed professor of painting and drawing at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University); remains on faculty until his retirement in 1997.

Participates in the exhibition Grands formats: treize artistes de Montréal at the MACM, originating in an idea by Claude Tousignant.

Exhibits at the Canadian Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition at Osaka in Japan.

Participates in the exhibition Panorama de la sculpture au Québec 1945-1970, at the MACM.

Solo exhibitions at the Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver and at the Carmen Lamanna Gallery in Toronto.

With Claude Tousignant, participates in a debate with professor François-Marc Gagnon after the latter’s conference entitled “Mimétisme en peinture contemporaire au Québec”. In this connection, an article appeared in the La Presse signed by art critic Normand Thériault: “New York a-t-il copié Montréal?”.

1971
Solo exhibition at Waddington Galleries in Montreal.

1972
Presents the exhibition Molinari: Paintings and Sculpture at the Sir George Williams University Art Gallery.

Presents the exhibition Paintings by Guido Molinari at the Dalhousie University Art Gallery in Halifax and at the Memorial University Art Gallery in St.John (New Brunswick).

1973
Solo exhibition at the Galerie Jolliet in Quebec City.

Exhibits with Claude Tousignant at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris.

1974
Exhibits its works in the Triangulaires series at the Canadian Cultural Centre; a brochure published by the CCC includes an important text by Bernard Tesseydre.

1975
The Triangulaires are exhibited at the Canada House Gallery in London.

1976
Retrospective of works from 1951 to 1973, organized by the National Gallery of Canada. The exhibition is also presented in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

Publication by the National Gallery of Canada of his Writings on art (1954-1975), compiled and presented by Pierre Théberge, and of a significant catalogue.

Solo exhibition at the Yajima/Galerie in Montreal.

Participates in three exhibitions at the MACM: Cent onze dessins du Québec; De la figuration à la non-figuration dans l’art québécois and Trois generations d’art québécois: 1940, 1950, 1960.

1977
Participates in the Biennale de Paris.

1978
Participates in Modern Painting in Canada at the Edmonton Art Gallery (Alberta).

1979
Publication by publisher L’Obsidienne of a large-size artist’s book entitled Nul mot, combining the artist’s poems and prints; reissued by L’Actuelle in a reduced format in 1993.

Exhibits his Quantificateurs series at the MACM, of which a smaller show will travel to York University.

Solo exhibition at the Yajima/Galerie in Montreal.

Participates in Dix ans de propositions géométriques: le Québec, 1955-1965, a travelling exhibition of the MACM and in Frontier of our Dreams: Quebec Painting in the 1940’s and the 1950’s, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (Manitoba).

1980
Participates in the symposium of Quebec painters at La Rochelle, in France.

Participates in the travelling exhibition 10 Canadian Artists in the 1970s organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario (Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium).

Awarded the Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas of the Government of Quebec.

1981
Presents recent paintings and drawings at the Yajima/Galerie.

Travelling exhibition entitled Guido Molinari: Works on Paper/Oeuvres sur papier, organized by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston (Art Gallery of Hamilton, Art Gallery of Windsor, London Regional Art Gallery, MMFA).

Participates in a travelling exhibition in Japan entitled Twentieth Century Canadian Art, organized by the National Gallery of Canada.

1983
Participates in the travelling exhibition The Non-figurative Artists Association of Montreal, organized by the Sir George Williams Art Gallery of Concordia University.

Solo exhibitions at the Yajima/Galerie and at the Yarlow/Salzman Gallery in Toronto.

1984
Participates in the exhibition Reflections: Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada since 1964.

Participates in Canadian Paintings and Sculptures at the 49th Parallel, Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art in New York City.

1985
Participates in MACM exhibitions La Collection permanente: acquisitions récentes, Dons 1984-1985 and Les Vingt Ans du Musée à travers sa collection.

Solo exhibitions at the Yarlow/Salzman Gallery in Toronto and at Waddington & Gorce Inc., in Montreal.

1987
Exhibition entitled Guido Molinari: Colour Expression at the Center for Contemporary Canadian Art in New York City (49th Parallel).

Presents installation of paintings entitled Danse/Soupir in his workshop on St.Catherine Street East.

Participates in the exhibition Histoire en quatre temps, at the MACM.

Exhibits in Stations: Les Cent jours d’art contemporain de Montréal, at the Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal.

1988
Solo exhibition at the Grünwald & Watterson Gallery in Toronto.

Participates in the exhibition L’art au Québec depuis Pellan: Une histoire des prix Borduas, at the Musée du Québec.

1989
Travelling exhibition Guido Molinari, 1951-1961, the Black and White Paintings, organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Participates in the exhibition Une histoire de collection: Dons 1984-1989 at the MACM.

Participates in Un archipel de désirs: Les artistes du Québec et la scène internationale, at the Musée du Québec.

Presents a solo exhibition Selections from the Seventies at the Grünwald Gallery in Toronto.

Solo exhibitions at the Heffel Gallery in Vancouver and at Waddington & Gorce Inc. in Montreal.

1990
Exhibition entitled Guido Molinari, Important Works from the Plastician Period at the Wynick-Tuck Gallery in Toronto.

Solo exhibition at the Galerie du Pavillon des Arts at Ste-Adèle (Quebec).

1991
Participates in the exhibition Building a Collection of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada.

1992
Participates in the travelling exhibition Achieving the modern: Canadian Abstract Painting and Design in the 1950’s, organized by the Winnipeg Art Gallery and in the exhibition La Collection, tableau inaugural at the MACM.

Exhibition entitled Guido Molinari: New Paintings at the Wynick-Tuck Gallery in Toronto and at the Heffel Gallery in Vancouver.

Participates in Montréal 1942-1992: L’Anarchie resplendissante de la peinture at the UQAM Gallery.

Exhibits at the Librairie Champigny in Montreal.

1993
Participates in the exhibition The Crisis of Abstraction in Canada: the Fifties, organized by the National Gallery of Canada (travelling exhibition).

Presents the exhibition New Original Serigraphs at the Wynick-Tuck Gallery in Toronto.

1994
Solo exhibition Guido Molinari: tableaux noirs et blancs, sériels, quantificateurs at Reutlingen in Germany.

Participates in the exhibition La Collection Lavalin du Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal: Le partage d’une vision, at the MACM.

1995
Travelling exhibition Guido Molinari, a retrospective, organized by the MACM (Guelph, Ontario; Regina, Saskatchewan; Windsor, Ontario; Halifax, Nova Scotia).

1997
Solo exhibition Collections 1950-1995 at the Musée de Grenoble.

2004
Death of the artist in Montreal.