Jean-Paul Riopelle: Artist Portrait

Jean-Paul Riopelle

Born 1923. Died 2002.
Interested in selling a work by Jean-Paul Riopelle?
Request an Estimate

Works by Jean-Paul Riopelle at Sotheby's

Past Lots

Jean-Paul Riopelle Biography

Abstract Expressionist painter Jean-Paul Riopelle was among the first Canadian artists to achieve international fame and recognition. Born in 1923, he studied at the École des Beaux Arts and the École de Meuble during the 1940s. He trained under Paul Émile Borduas, a founding figure of Les Automatistes, a group adjacent to the Surrealists that rebuked establishment, tradition and religious authority, favoring instead the subconscious as the driving force behind nonfigurative painting. He traveled to New York and Paris after the end of World War II, where his works were included alongside the leading Surrealists artists in several of the Expositions Internationale du Surrealisme.

In the 1950s he began to expand his canvases and turned to “abstract landscapism,” in which he experimented with medium and material. He began a relationship with Abstract Expressionist Joan Mitchell, with whom he stayed for fifteen years, who influenced his work to become increasingly focused on the process. He would throw paint onto his canvases, resulting in thick impasto and intense surfaces of abstract compositions filled with rich color. He continued to experiment with medium, turning to lithograph, assemblage collages, and sculpture beginning in the 1970s. Although their relationship ended in 1979, Riopelle stopped painting shortly after Mitchell’s death in 1992.

Riopelle enjoyed widespread international fame before his death; he participated in three Venice Biennales and the São Paulo Biennial. The Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; the National Gallery of Canada, Ontario; the Musée du Québec; and the Galerie Maeght, Paris, have held major retrospectives of his work beginning in the 1950s. The Musée des beaux-arts du Québec held a major retrospective of Riopelle’s work in 2006 that was shown at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, and at the Musé Cantini, Marseille.

Read More

Jean-Paul Riopelle Videos and Stories

Museums with Works by Jean-Paul Riopelle

We use our own and third party cookies to enable you to navigate around our Site, use its features and engage on social media, and to allow us to perform analytics, remember your preferences, provide services that you have requested and produce content and advertisements tailored to your interests, both on our Site as well as others. For more information, or to learn how to change your cookie or marketing preferences, please see our updated Privacy Policy & Cookie Policy.

Close
Artist Image: 2011 Gamma-Rapho