JEAN PAUL RIOPELLE, R.C.A.
oil on canvas
signed; also signed on the reverse, titled and dated 1954 to gallery label
15 ins x 18 ins; 38.1 cms x 45.7 cms
Painted during a restless flurry of experimentation while immersed in the Paris cultural scene through the 1950s, Composition is an early example of the artist’s signature techniques. The work is hurried, full to the brim with darts and ridges of colour quickly laid down with a palette knife in heavy impasto. The canvas is dominated by a strong diagonal composition, with predominantly white centre separating strokes of heavier colour on the left from an area of bright colour in the upper right. Deep blues, briny sea-greens, and blistered-red blacks disintegrate into pinkish streaks and tinted greys. The dense tessellations are a jostle of pigment as colours curl and fold in on each other, stitching together a mosaic of paint with smooth stains and scalloped drips. The resulting mesh is cohesive, dynamic, and forceful. This is the first time this painting has been brought to market in over 60 years, and is an excellent example of Jean Paul Riopelle at a pivotal moment in his career.
This work will be included as an addendum in Jean Paul Riopelle: Catalogue Raisonné by Yseult Riopelle
Galerie Dresdnere, Montreal
By descent to Private Collection, Toronto