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A half a century for painter Benoît Côté

The Energy of the Snow Goose Captured on Canvas

It is a beautiful October day when painter Benoît Côté welcomes us into his Saint-Pierre home and agrees to share some of the highlights of his artistic career with us. He first recalls his beginnings at the Zanettin Gallery in 1960 and his European Tour on a Greenshields Foundation Grant. He then takes us through the demanding preparations for his Black is Beautiful exhibition, a colourful tribute to his Caribbean friends. With an easy half smile, the alert, bright-eyed painter, now in his seventies, unaffectedly entertains us with delightful tales from the past. Through the course of his career, he has met with Dallaire, Riopelle, Claude Picher, Lemieux and many others of our great painters. His souvenirs linger on Riopelle, a geese-hunting neighbour on nearby Ile-aux-Grues: “Riopelle might not have been a great hunter of the geese, but he was totally captured by their beauty!” Mr. Côté, who sees in Riopelle our greatest international artist, is proud to have been the first of them to paint snow geese, long before Riopelle ever thought of it.

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benoit côté, artist-painter
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