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Réflection automnale, 24 x 30 po, 2012

Claude Langevin

The Golden Era

Painting a Country

At the time, children followed in their parents’ footsteps,” reminisces Claude Langevin. Like many others, he started his professional career on this principle. Then, with audacity and perseverance, he branched off onto his own path, something few people ever did.

Son of a medical doctor and one of five siblings, Claude Langevin began studying medicine, engaged on a path set by his father and already followed by his eldest brother. “I studied medicine for a year and soon came to understand that it wasn’t a career for me. I had been painting since the age of 14, and that was what I loved doing. The news was difficult to accept for my family.” To discard such a secure career option for one that was perceived as marginal seemed like pure folly. But we were in the early 60s, when a wind of freedom and change had started to sweep Québec. Claude Langevin, then known under his real name of Paul Viens, was about to embark on this wave of artistic renewal that celebrated local talent.

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Text by Isabelle Gauthier 


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