Riopelle, Jean-paul

Jean-Paul Riopelle, born in 1923, was a Canadian Abstract Expressionist best known for his non-representational landscape paintings. Riopelle squeezed paint straight from the tube and applied it liberally with a palette knife to craft his mosaic-like works. 


“When I begin a painting I always hope to complete it in a few strokes, starting with the first colors I daub down anywhere and anyhow,” he once said of his practice. “But it never works, so I add more, without realizing it.” 


Riopelle studied at both the École des Beaux-Arts and the École de Meuble in Montreal. After traveling to Paris in 1947, Riopelle became a part of the Surrealist milieu of artists and writers, but evolved towards a technique influenced by Jackson Pollock. 


Riopelle created sculpture, lithography, and assemblages. The artist died in 2002. Today, his works are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Tate Gallery in London, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, among others.

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