Paul Beliveau

4 Nov 2015 – 28 Nov 2015

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

Cost of entry


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Plus One Gallery

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • 11,211,239,137,360,319
  • Sloane Square/ Victoria
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Canadian artist Paul Beliveau came to art through books; his uncle would lend him books on great artists to make up for occasionally missing their fly-fishing excursions. From then on he surrounded himself with books, with a particular preference for history and biography.


Beliveau provocatively explores this subject by creating works that house a co-existence between classical and pop culture, by intermingling culture and making it clash and through knowledge and reference.  In classic paintings, “vanitas” is about the brevity and ephemeral nature of life, represented hourglasses, skulls or rotten fruits. Paintings in vanitas style were meant to remind viewers of the transience of life, the futility of pleasure and the certainty of death, by composing images of book spines Beliveau’s paintings are full of references to culture, iconography from the past and present, and so they are used by the artist as a strategy against loss. The worn books metaphorically evoke the passage of time and reveal one’s finiteness; therefore it triggers thinking about the longevity of culture. In this sense, the books are “vanitas” because they have a terminal nature in our contemporary culture. Yet, through construction, reorganizing, photographing and painting books, the process of recreation and reinvention, the exploration of what’s embodied and the spiritual which underpinned in the construction, have prolonged the life and value of these books in our digital world. 

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Paul Beliveau

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