LOT 031

1923 - 2002

oil on canvas, circa 1957
signed and on verso signed, titled as Dans la Missainne [sic] on the Dominion Gallery label and stamped with the Dominion Gallery stamp and with the Arthur Lenars & Cie, Paris shipping label
15 x 21 1/2 in, 38.1 x 54.6 cm

Estimate: $70,000 - $90,000 CAD

Sold for: $133,250

Preview at:

Dominion Gallery, Montreal
Collection of William and Elizabeth Kilbourn, Toronto

Elizabeth Kilbourn, Great Canadian Painting: A Century of Art, 1966, reproduced page 101, titled as Water Trough
Yseult Riopelle, Jean Paul Riopelle Catalogue Raisonné, Volume 2, 1954 – 1959, 2004, reproduced page 284, catalogue #1957.145H.V1957
François-Marc Gagnon, Borduas / Lemieux / Riopelle, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, 2014, page 206

Abreuvoir packs a powerful punch for a Jean Paul Riopelle painting of relatively modest size! Its backdrop of intense reds and purples wants to burst through the energetic impasto of white and black that aims to fence them in. The consignor recollects that Abreuvoir was acquired from the Dominion Gallery during a family visit to Montreal soon after it was painted. They still recall the scent of the not-quite-dry pigment that lingered when it was hung in their Hamilton home prior to their move to Toronto.

The title of this work translates as Water Trough, which is how Elizabeth Kilbourn referred to it in her 1966 survey of Canadian painting, and its horizontal format seems to confirm that subject. To quote François-Marc Gagnon about Riopelle’s process, “It was in the very act of painting that the painter discovered what the painting was all about.”

Beginning in 1965, before the celebrations for Canada’s 100th birthday, a series of eight books titled The Canadian Centennial Library, edited by Pierre Berton, was launched by McClelland & Stewart. Two of the books were Great Canadian Painting: A Century of Art, by Elizabeth Kilbourn, and The Making of a Nation, by William Kilbourn.

Estimate: $70,000 - $90,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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