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LOT 033

Jean Paul Riopelle
1923 - 2002

oil on canvas, 1958
signed and on verso titled, inscribed "59212" on a label and stamped with a Paris export stamp
8 5/8 x 13 in 21.9 x 33 cm

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

Sold for: $157,250

Preview at:

Galerie Jacques Dubourg, Paris
Galerie Sander, Germany
Acquired from the above by the present Private Collection, Germany, 1982

Eduard Trier, Jean Paul Riopelle, Galerie Änne Abels, 1958, listed, unpaginated
Riopelle: Paintings from the Fifties, Pierre Matisse Gallery, 1989, unpaginated
Yseult Riopelle, Catalogue raisonné de Jean Paul Riopelle, Volume 2 Addenda, 1954 - 1959, 2012 (online)

Galerie Änne Abels, Cologne, Jean Paul Riopelle, October - November 1959, catalogue #16

“Riopelle works in fits of exaltation, in a sort of fury and hypnotic fervor…He must be completely transported, with no interruption, from the first touch to the last, by some mysterious team of which he remains the master. The color bursts from the tube onto the flexible knife and then takes possession of the entire canvas, as though following the laws of an organic passage and the ceremonial of a violent celebration.”
- Jacques Dupin
Vanves, with its thickly textured application of paint by the palette knife, is evidence of Jean Paul Riopelle’s passionate process. Stroke after stroke packs the pictorial space, which vibrates with energy. In the late 1950s, Riopelle was moving away from his mid-1950s all-over mosaic approach, in which he loaded his knife with numerous colours, and we see the evolution of his painting techniques in Vanves. His knife-strokes have changed – they are loaded with single hues, and chunks of white open up space in the density of his surfaces. Although at first glance black, white and red dominate, close examination reveals much colour, such as patches and strokes of purple, green, blue and orange. Riopelle used a variety of paint handling, from loaded knife swipes to thinly scraped vertical cascades at the top and thinner sideways strokes. Textural effects are profuse, with ridges built from the knifework. Riopelle’s manipulation of paint is assured and free as he builds up a densely layered effect of moving strokes that dazzles the eye.
Riopelle’s ascension into the international sphere began when he moved to Paris from Montreal in 1947, after an exploratory trip in 1946. After the end of World War II, Paris was an incredibly exciting place to be, and this modernist migrant soon became an important part of the artistic scene. Here he moved in a sphere of groundbreaking French and American artists and writers - such as André Breton, Georges Duthuit, Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Samuel Beckett, Sam Francis and Joan Mitchell. Art dealer Pierre Loeb helped to introduce him to important people in artistic circles, and by 1949, Riopelle already had his first solo show, at La Dragonne (Galerie Nina Dausset). Riopelle spent 40 years in France before returning to Canada.
The 1950s were a time of creative fertility and solid success for Riopelle. In 1953 he exhibited at Galerie Pierre Loeb in Paris, and from 1954 on, he exhibited regularly at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York. In 1956, he had solo exhibitions in London at Gimpel Fils and in Paris at Galerie Jacques Dubourg.
After working in a loaned studio in Montmartre, in 1954, Riopelle moved to a studio in Vanves in the Paris suburbs - thus the title of this work. His work from this decade is legendary, and Vanves, produced in 1958, is an ardent statement from this Abstract Expressionist master.
The provenance of this exceptional Riopelle canvas is further evidence of the artist’s international stature - it traveled from the prominent Galerie Jacques Dubourg in Paris to Germany, where it has remained until now.
Included with this lot is a photo-certificate of authenticity signed by Jean Paul Riopelle in Paris on July 24, 1984.

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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