Jean McEwen

Biography

Jean McEwen (b.1923-d.1999) was a Canadian abstract painter. He studied pharmacology at the University of Montreal while always being interested in painting and poetry. McEwen travelled to Paris after university following the advice of friend and abstract painter Paul Emile Borduas, where he was inspired by the Impressionists. Upon his return to Canada, he exhibited in Ottawa and Montreal while also working a job in pharmaceuticals. He continued to balance art and his pharmaceutical career until the ‘70s, when he quit his job to focus on art.

His work centers around subtle color relationships, bold gestures and light. He aimed to provoke “sensations” in the viewer, rather than focus on artistic theory.

McEwen’s work can be found in many public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, among others.