Jean McEwen was born in 1923 in Montreal, Quebec. His mother was French
Canadian, his father of Scottish descent. Much to the young McEwen's surprise,
he had some of his early paintings accepted in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Annual Spring Exhibitions in 1949 and 1950. He also received favourable reviews
from Quebec artist Paul-Emile Borduas, who encouraged him to travel to Paris to
further his understanding of modem art and painting. Taking this advice, he
spent three years in Paris and formed associations with Canadian artist
Jean-Paul Riopelle and American artist, Sam Francis, who had a lasting effect
on his future work. As one of the pioneers of the North American modernist art
movement, he explored non-figurative colour and space relationships through his
painting for more than 40 years. He passed away in Montreal in 1999.
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