(Acton Vale, Quebec, 1941– Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, 1998)
Acrylic on canvas
224 x 346 cm
Purchased in 2000 with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Volunteer Association Fund
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 2000.8.1-2
© Estate of Serge Lemoyne / SODRAC (2018)
Photo: MMFA, Christine Guest
Composed of two large panels, Dryden belongs to painter Serge Lemoyne’s “red, white and blue” period. This famous work uses the iconic colours of the Montreal Canadiens hockey team to pay homage to the goalie Ken Dryden (b. 1947). Midway between figurative and abstract, it represents a hockey mask in close-up with areas of flat colour and fine drips. This approach placed Lemoyne in the Pop art movement. At the same time, he used gestures of action painting that involves splashing paint onto the canvas, a style associated with Abstract Expressionism.
Although Dryden dates to 1975, it fittingly represents 1909 here. That year saw the founding of the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club, a team that influenced the career of the Quebec artist Serge Lemoyne. Lemoyne took part in many socially engaged art events with the aim of blurring the line between art and life. His “red, white and blue” period, which lasted ten years, began in 1969 when he turned a gallery into a hockey rink. He also paid tribute to the Canadiens (Habs) with performances, where he invited audiences to join him in shooting paint-filled pucks at a canvas.