Jean-Paul Riopelle


Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002) is one of the most notable Canadian artists of the 20th century. When Riopelle moved to Paris in 1946, he became the only known recognized Canadian artist in Europe and the rest of the world. Style-wise, he has been linked to some of his time's most important art movements. He created a rich and varied oeuvre, wavering between abstraction and figuration.  In the 1950s, Riopelle rose to international fame with large paintings like La Roue (Cold Dog – Indian Summer). He abandoned painting brush to use palette knives instead. These paintings are composed of pure colours applicated directly from the tube in different layers, leaving an aerial appearance or mosaïque like feeling. The sharp, quick strokes, resulting in a thick suggestive layer of paint, is the significant style of the renowned artist Jean-Paul Riopelle.  When using this particular technique, Riopelle created masterpieces that recall elements of nature, linking them to artists from other ages and times, making them somewhat timeless and universal.  The painting "Couchant" is part of Riopelle's later oeuvre when in the 1970s, Riopelle's visits to Canada became more frequent and prolonged. "Couchant' is a dramatic and dynamic composition of darker and earthy tones, combined with orange, red, yellow and violet tones. As the title already suggests, it recalls the rendering of a landscape after the sun has set.