The Jazz Band
This colossal oil on canvas by Pierre Pivet (1948–) depicts a jazz band in the artist’s lively, vibrant style. Capturing artists in action, such as sculptors, puppeteers, dancers, and musicians, is a recurring subject in Pivet’s oeuvre. In this painting, the ensemble includes a saxophonist, trumpet player, cellist and guitarist playing under dynamic spotlights, all painted using a palette of pure, bright primary and secondary colours. While the bold colour palette evokes the work of Fauvist painters, Pivet’s subtle geometric abstraction of light and forms is reminiscent of Cubism. Similar to many of Pivet’s other works, this painting is signed in red paint at the bottom left corner. Pivet was born in Normandy, France in 1948. Although he was passionate about painting since his youth, his family’s financial situation caused him to limit creating to his free time after work. When his parents passed away in 1969, Pivet decided to turn his part-time passion into his career and devoted his life to painting. He studied painting at the Académie de Port-Royal under established French painters such as Jean Marzelle (1916–2005) and Claude Schürr (1921–2014), both of whom had a significant influence on his vibrant use of colour. In 1983, Pivet moved to Montreal, Quebec, where his painting career continues today.
At this time in Montreal, the Montreal Flood occurred on July 14, 1987. A series of strong thunderstorms crossed the island between 12:00pm –2:30pm, causing 100 millimetres of rainfall during this short period of time. The sewer systems quickly became overwhelmed, paralysing the city with flooded highways and roads and bringing traffic to a standstill for hours. 40,000 to 50,000 houses and businesses experienced serious flooding damage.