Born in Quebec City, Edmund Alleyn is one of the most audacious artists of his generation. As a student at the École des beaux-art de Québec in the 1950s, he studied under Jean-Paul Lemieux and Jean Dallaire. After graduating, he taught as a professor in University of Ottawa’s visual arts department for 15 years. In 1955, he won the Grand Prix aux concours artistiques de la province de Québec and a grant from the Royal Society. In 1958, Alleyn joined Paul-Émile Borduas, Harold Town, Jean-Paul Riopelle and Léon Bellefleur in representing the Canadian delegation at the Guggenheim International Awards. He won the bronze medal at the Biennale of Sao Paulo in 1959, and the following year, he was selected to represent Canada at the Biennale de Venice. Known for his numerous pictorial works, Edmund Alleyn also created sculptures and major installations. His most important sculpture is, without question, Introscaphe (1968-1970). A work said to be polysensorial, Introscaphe is capsule that an onlooker can enter to experience four and a half minutes of sounds and images. Considered today to be one of the first multimedia works in the world, the Introscaphe, with its spaceship-like oval shape, bombarded spectators with images of a society being increasingly “automated” by technology. Throughout his career, Edmund Alleyn created several three dimensional pieces, including the sculptures The Old Seawolf (1961-1963), The Big Sleep (1968), the project Une belle fin de journée (1973-1976) and the in situ installation Le Musée d’hiver (1978-1979) at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. His pieces have been shown in diverse exhibition locations across the world, including several museums in Quebec, at the Galerie Lavalin (Montreal), at the 49th Parallel (New York) and at the Musée d’art modern de la Ville de Paris (France).
Edmund Alleyn, Introscaphe, 1968-1970. Bois, fibre de verre, peinture, circuits électriques et électroniques, systèmes de projection et autres matériaux. 155 x 330 x 113 cm. Photo : Succession Edmund Alleyn.