Jesus Carlos de Vilallonga

Born in 1927 in Catalonia, Jesús Carles de Vilallonga starts drawing very early on :  at the age of five, his first sketchbook is covered with sketches among which figure the two foremost symbols of his life:  the thirteenth-century family estate and a portrait of his father smoking the pipe.  At the age of eleven, his is awarded first prize in a contest organized by his school.

After having studied engineering and architecture at the University of Barcelona, he decides to become a painter and registers with the School of Fine Arts.  Vilallonga sets up in a workshop close to sculptor Jordi Bonet’s, and in 1952 he leaves to perfect his training at the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris.

Invited to execute a Spanish restaurant’s decoration in Montreal, he arrives in Canada in 1955; this marks the beginning of a thirty-year period of tireless work, split between Catalonia and Quebec.  Moving among Montreal’s Bohemian artistic crowd, he rubs shoulders with many creators:  Robert Roussil, Armand Vaillancourt, Jean-Paul Mousseau, Molinari.  In 1958, his work is shown at the Dominion Gallery, to which he remained attached until its closing.

In Catalonia, he gets acquainted with painter Marcel Duchamp, writer François Rey as well as Catalan artists Ramon et Antonio Pitchot.  In 1967, he meets Salvador Dali and Gala, and collaborates with Dali in the creation of sculptures.

The universe constructed by Vilallonga is undeniably personal; nature and artifice converge in a metamorphosis presenting not only the beautiful aspects of the world, but also the more mysterious and secret slopes which envelop the interior and exterior of a world that transcends the physical and penetrates the psyche.

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