August 7 to September 29, Quartier des Spectacles hosts an exhibition by Gabor Szilasi, a major figure in Canadian and Quebec photography. His elegant portrait of Sainte-Catherine Street in the 1970s includes 27 photos.
At the corner of Clark and Ste. Catherine W.
The acclaimed photographer Gabor Szilasi was born in Budapest in 1928 and settled in Montreal in 1959. His career highlights include an uninterrupted series of nearly 100 solo and group shows in Canada and Europe, critical bibliographies, commissioned works and institutional acquisitions.
Soon after arriving in Quebec, he started working as a photographer for the provincial government film board, the Service de ciné-photographie du Québec (the forerunner of the Office du film du Québec), where he produced a large number of photo reports. He went on to photograph several timeless series in rural Quebec, including one on Charlevoix County in 1970, another on the Beauce region in 1973, and series on Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Lac-Saint-Jean in 1976-1977.
In 1997, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal assembled the first major retrospective of his work: Gabor Szilasi 1954-1996, which was exhibited at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In 2009, the Musée d’art de Joliette presented an extensive second retrospective, The Eloquence of the Everyday, which was also seen at Montreal’s McCord Museum in 2010 and the Kelowna Art Gallery, in British Columbia, in 2011.
Szilasi was also a respected teacher of photography, joining Cégep du Vieux-Montréal in 1971 and moving to the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University in 1980; he retired from teaching in 1995.
In 2009, Szilasi was awarded the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, Quebec’s highest honour in the visual arts. In 2010, he received the prestigious Governor General’s Award, presented to artists who have achieved great distinction in their discipline. More recently, Canada Post honoured him by issuing a stamp featuring one of his works.
Gabor Szilasi has had an incalculable influence on an entire generation of photographers. He is rightfully considered one of Quebec’s most illustrious photographers.