Lot # 042
Fall 2016 - 1st Session Live auction

Jean Albert McEwen
AANFM RCA 1923 - 1999 Canadian

Les cages d'îles no. 3
oil on canvas
signed and dated 1974 and on verso signed, titled and dated on the labels, inscribed "M" and stamped Jean McEwen
50 x 63 3/4 in  127 x 161.9cm

Provenance:
Marlborough-Godard, Montreal
Private Collection, Montreal

Literature:
Constance Naubert-Riser, Jean McEwen: Colour in Depth, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1987, page 38

The link between Jean McEwen’s artwork and his love for poetry is undeniable. Constance Naubert-Riser quotes the artist from his book Cul de lampe: “A painting is created from rhythm, form, space, light, shade and colour—but it is the feeling, the poetry of the painter that produces the harmony.” McEwen’s titles are often read as poetic too. Naubert-Riser devoted an entire chapter in the exhibition catalogue Jean McEwen: Colour in Depth to McEwen’s poetic titles and their meaning, writing “McEwen’s titles...are linked to the complex poetic relationship that exists between himself and the coloured matter that forms his painting.” Here, nebulous forms of fiery crimson and eggplant hover over a field of taupe, punctuated by smoky black shapes and underlying verdant greens. McEwen’s series Les cages d’îles (The Island Cages) was painted in 1974, following his decision to abandon acrylic pigments and return to working exclusively in oils. This work superbly illustrates the result of his choice, which allowed him to emphasize the relationships between colour and texture that were his passion.

Estimate: $50,000 ~ $60,000 CAD  
Sold for: $70,800 CAD (including Buyer's Premium)

All prices are in Canadian Dollars.

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