Jean-Paul Riopelle R.C.A.

Abstract Composition, 1955

13.25x9.25 in.

Riopelle catalogue no. 1955.025P

Riopelle: The Glory of Abstraction, The Glenbow Museum, Calgary, May 15 – August 2, 2010
Yseult Riopelle, Catalogue Raisonée de Jean Paul Riopelle, Vol. II, 1954-1959, cat. no. 1955.025P.1955, p. 361

In the mid 1950s, Jean Paul Riopelle explored ink and watercolour on paper repeatedly. A medium that allowed him to prepare, and work quickly and in rapid succession, he retained elements of earlier styles in these works. And always, his distinct gesture is there, in the blots of black, and frenzy of energy in their execution, connected as they are by arcing lines of whisked on in. These black elements are layered onto splattered, thinly applied stains of colour. Here, we have the primaries: red, yellow, and blue, which together with the black, create a balance and optically very appealing work. The central composition is contained within the page, framed by quieter areas at each of the edges, allowing our eye to rest and return, again and again, to the main focus of the work.

Jean Paul Riopelle was born in 1923 in Montreal, Quebec. Interested in both art and drafting from an early age, Riopelle’s artistic endeavours were originally based in Academic-style still-life and landscape works He attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts briefly before moving on to study at the École du Meuble in…