Becoming Aware

He falls under the spell of the Belle Province, however, and especially of Ghylaine, whom he marries in 1949. He settles in Montreal and begins a family, working tirelessly as a teacher and then illustrator until the end of the 1960s. But he still finds time to paint, capturing the transformation of the countryside and the city under the pressure of economic growth. Expo 67 – the 1967 World's Fair in Montreal with the theme "Man and His World" – was the symbol of Progress par excellence and would affect him deeply. Frédéric Back is scandalized by the destruction of the natural spaces at the Expo building site. All the countries represented seem to conceive of nature as something to be dominated on the road "forward". Canada's display features the latest machines for logging, splitting and piling the wood from entire forests, with no thought for the environmental consequences.