Guido Molinari was born in Montréal in 1933. He took a few courses at his hometown’s École des beaux-arts and Museum of Fine Arts’ school between 1948 and 1951, but owed the bulk of his artistic education to his readings and travels, in particular to New York.
His first solo show was held at the L’Échourie gallery in 1953 and, three years later, his work was exhibited in the United States for the first time. In 1965, he took part in a major exhibition, The Responsive Eye, at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), before representing Canada in 1968 at the 34th Venice Biennale, where he was awarded the David E. Bright Foundation prize. In 1976, the National Gallery of Canada organized a retrospective exhibition of Molinari’s work and at the same time published a collection of his writings, Écrits sur l’art (1954-1975). For its part, Montréal’s Musée d’art contemporain held a major Molinari retrospective in 1995 that paid tribute to the artist’s unwavering commitment to abstract painting and his energizing influence on the Canadian art scene.
Molinari was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1971. In addition, he received the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award in 1973 and became the youngest-ever winner of the Paul-Émile Borduas Prize in 1980.
Molinari also taught at Montréal’s Concordia University from 1970 to 1997.
Guido Molinari died in February 2004.