Jean-Paul Riopelle R.C.A.
Graine d’Original, 1974
Galerie Maeght, Paris;
Dominion Gallery, Montreal;
Graine d’Original, or Original Seed, the title of this later canvas implies, is a return to Riopelle’s early 1950s methods. Paint is thickly applied, laid on with a long, narrow palette knife, and is juicily built up, with stacked up layers, and tactile licks of impasto. What places this work squarely in the 1970s is the sense of a structured composition, with a square shape on the left and a squared and curved shape on the right, it implies intent. The division of his colours into distinct regions also indicate that this is a latter work.
Riopelle had returned to Quebec by the time Graine d’Original was painted, and had taken on a number of large public commissions, diversified his media to include collage, lithography, watercolour, ink on paper, and sculpture. This pure, palette knife work is a bridge between the heady works of the Refus Global years, and Riopelle’s mature expressions.