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LOT 051

Jean Albert McEwen
1923 - 1999

Sans titre
oil on canvas
signed and dated 1961 and on verso signed and dated October 1961
39 x 39 in 99.1 x 99.1 cm

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

Sold for: $58,250

Preview at:

Private Collection, Montreal

Constance Naubert-Riser, Jean McEwen, Colour in Depth: Paintings and Works on Paper, 1951 – 1987, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1987, page 41

From 1961 to 1963, Jean McEwen’s paintings were increasingly dominated by the use of a vertical line through the centre, which established a binary structure of two colour-field planes. These lines, narrow at first, as in this vibrant work, later became thicker and more dominant. Sans titre contains the characteristic properties of McEwen’s work at this time, with its colour fields that pull in from the outer edges to reveal underlayers, and with dripping at the bottom that shows the process of painting and establishes a vertical direction. The work has a luscious colouration, with its vivid reddish pink and a radiant purple, which glows in a patch of incandescent luminosity and glimmers more quietly throughout the two colour fields. In McEwen’s work, space is created through colour, for as Constance Naubert-Riser wrote, “Colour must derive its depth from a continual permutation between layers that are by turn opaque and transparent; in other words, from a stratification of layers...” McEwen’s entire oeuvre was devoted to exploring the power of colour, and Sans titre is a particularly fine example of his work from the 1960s.

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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