Jean-Pierre Lafrance (1943 –)

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Jean-Pierre Lafrance began his studies of drawing and painting at des Beaux-Arts de Montréal at the age of sixteen. He pursued his studies further at Studio Salette in Montréal and discovered the art of sculpture at the studio of Jordi Bonet, one of the greatest sculptors and muralists in Canada. He then went on to master numerous lithographic and serigraphic techniques at Atelier de l’île in Val-David, Quebec.

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As an abstract expressionist painter, Lafrance does not intend any representational symbolism in his work, though after some searching, literal meaning may be found. The doorway for the viewer is not gimmick or formula, but rather the allure of emotion. In addition to his paintings, he has created a series of three-dimensional works that now occupy numerous public spaces, industrial parks, and commercial buildings. Within his painting and sculpture, he uses diverse techniques like burning; the artist is open to the unpredictability of the marks that can be made with fire.


Throughout his forty-year career, Lafrance has produced many distinct series of paintings and sculptures. His work is always derived from his main interest: people. While they are not often literally represented in his work, a human presence can generally be felt. The human element has inspired past series such as Neighborhood, Identity, Something to Say, Clone Icon, and The Dawning. Each series, while identifiable as the work of Lafrance, is always distinctive.


After more than forty successful solo and group exhibitions across Canada, the United States, France, and Mexico, Lafrance’s work is now held in many notable private and public collections. As one of Canada’s most respected artists, he has drawn comparisons to painter and sculptor Jean-Paul Riopelle, CC, GOQ (1923-2002).