LOT 041

1923 - 2002

Quand la plume d’autruche devient folle
watercolour and ink on paper
signed and dated 1946
11 7/8 x 18 in, 30.2 x 45.7 cm

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000 CAD

Sold for: $40,250

Preview at:

Private Collection, Montreal

Yseult Riopelle, Jean Paul Riopelle Catalogue Raisonné, Volume 1, 1939 – 1953, 1999, reproduced page 406, catalogue #1946.060P.1946
Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Painting in Canada, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 2007, page 78

In 1946, Jean Paul Riopelle participated in the first exhibition of the Automatists, a catalytic group of Montreal artists influenced by Surrealism, whose members experimented with automatic writing. That same year he made a trip to Paris, and in 1947 he returned to settle there, where he became part of the Surrealist circle surrounding André Breton. These affiliations likely explain the surreal title of this work on paper - Quand la plume d’autruche devient folle or, as it translates, “when the ostrich feather becomes crazy,” a poetic indication of the dizzy sense of movement we see here. This work belongs to a group of abstract ink and watercolour works Riopelle produced in 1946 and 1947, which Roald Nasgaard described as “scintillatingly fresh and original. They are constructed in the figure-ground way of Borduas, starting with a dappled watercolour-washed ground of bright colours that is then overlaid with a network of fine ink lines.” Quand la plume d’autruche devient folle is an effervescent example from this group of works, with its energized black marks, lines and shapes racing across a pale background traversed by glowing patches of colour.

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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