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LOT 034

Jean Paul Riopelle

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AUTO CAS OC QMG RCA SCA
1923 - 2002
Canadian

Sans titre
oil on canvas
signed and on verso titled, dated circa 1964 on the gallery labels, inscribed "No. 4903" on the Gimpel Fils label and variously and stamped 191089 and 60F
50 3/4 x 37 7/8 in, 129 x 96.5 cm

CAD

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Gimpel Fils, London
Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris
Acquired from the above by a Private Collection
Art contemporain, Sotheby's Paris, May 29, 2012, lot 23
A Prominent European Private Collection

LITERATURE
Yseult Riopelle, Jean Paul Riopelle Catalogue Raisonné, Volume 3, 1960 - 1965, 2009, reproduced page 218, catalogue #1964.034H.1964

Matter is at the crux of Jean Paul Riopelle’s oeuvre. In both his painted and his sculpted works, his handling of matter is always very tactile and sensual. However, this is especially true during the period from 1960 to 1965. Moving away from the dense “all-over” works of the 1950s—now known as the “mosaics”—his compositions became more ambitious and spacious, while his gestures and application of paint became looser and more exuberant.

Although his palette knife was still very much present, his paintings showed, in the words of art historian Yves Michaud, a “gradual appearance of forms that, superimposed over the profusion of small touches, confer a second organization to the painting and gradually lead to the figure.… At times, it is a sort of calligraphy, other times, a division into zones…, and other times still, the appearance of a massive form.”[1]

In Sans titre, Riopelle builds a luminous white and golden circular form at the centre of the canvas with rhythmic strokes of the palette knife, effectively creating the “appearance of a massive form.” Doing so, Riopelle introduces space in the composition, dividing it into zones of colour. Within this large expanse, touches of bright orange, maroon, teal and cyan appear in transparency here and there in the tesserae-like knife-strokes. The round form is encircled by a blue and white background that acts like a frame within a frame. The lower section of the work is covered in touches of black, red, yellow, white and blue. These contrasting colours achieve a striking effect of figure / ground, with the round shape at the forefront.

Sans titre is dated circa 1964, an extremely productive and effervescent period in the artist’s career. Indeed, the first half of the sixties was a time when he received major national and international recognition. He represented Canada at the 1962 Venice Biennale and won the UNESCO Prize. He had three paintings included in the Art since 1950 exhibition at the Seattle World Fair, and the National Gallery of Canada organized a major retrospective of his works, titled Jean Paul Riopelle: Painting and Sculpture, which then toured to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1963.

During this time, Riopelle was also working towards the monumental painting Point de rencontre, commissioned for Toronto Pearson International Airport in 1964, by producing larger and larger works. While he was experimenting on a more imposing scale, he also started working in a variety of other mediums, such as drawing, watercolour, printmaking and sculpture.

Sans titre is a superb example of Riopelle’s works from the early sixties and his continued evolution towards form. This work showcases his characteristic choice of vibrant colours and buoyant movement across the canvas. The composition’s central form foreshadows his forthcoming partial return to figuration. Although certainly not figurative, this painting might suggest certain elements of nature. Perhaps the central form is reminiscent of the sun? Or maybe a face? Riopelle himself explained: “My paintings that are considered the most abstract are, in my opinion, the most representational in the strictest sense of the term.… Abstract: ‘abstraction,’ ‘taken from,’ ‘to bring from’.… I work the other way around. I do not take from Nature, I move toward Nature.”[2]

1. Yves Michaud, “Organicity and Cosmic Flow,” in Jean Paul Riopelle Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 3, 1960–1965, ed. Yseult Riopelle and Tanguy Riopelle (Montreal: Hibou Éditeurs, 2009), 56.

2. Quoted in Michel Waldberg, “Riopelle, the Absolute Gap,” in Jean-Paul Riopelle Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 1939–1954, ed. Yseult Riopelle (Montreal: Hibou Éditeurs, 1999), 42.

Estimate: $300,000 - $400,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information posted, errors and omissions may occur. All bids are subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business. Bidders must ensure they have satisfied themselves with the condition of the Lot prior to bidding. Condition reports are available upon request.

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23 Nov 2023
Canada
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[ translate ]

AUTO CAS OC QMG RCA SCA
1923 - 2002
Canadian

Sans titre
oil on canvas
signed and on verso titled, dated circa 1964 on the gallery labels, inscribed "No. 4903" on the Gimpel Fils label and variously and stamped 191089 and 60F
50 3/4 x 37 7/8 in, 129 x 96.5 cm

CAD

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Gimpel Fils, London
Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris
Acquired from the above by a Private Collection
Art contemporain, Sotheby's Paris, May 29, 2012, lot 23
A Prominent European Private Collection

LITERATURE
Yseult Riopelle, Jean Paul Riopelle Catalogue Raisonné, Volume 3, 1960 - 1965, 2009, reproduced page 218, catalogue #1964.034H.1964

Matter is at the crux of Jean Paul Riopelle’s oeuvre. In both his painted and his sculpted works, his handling of matter is always very tactile and sensual. However, this is especially true during the period from 1960 to 1965. Moving away from the dense “all-over” works of the 1950s—now known as the “mosaics”—his compositions became more ambitious and spacious, while his gestures and application of paint became looser and more exuberant.

Although his palette knife was still very much present, his paintings showed, in the words of art historian Yves Michaud, a “gradual appearance of forms that, superimposed over the profusion of small touches, confer a second organization to the painting and gradually lead to the figure.… At times, it is a sort of calligraphy, other times, a division into zones…, and other times still, the appearance of a massive form.”[1]

In Sans titre, Riopelle builds a luminous white and golden circular form at the centre of the canvas with rhythmic strokes of the palette knife, effectively creating the “appearance of a massive form.” Doing so, Riopelle introduces space in the composition, dividing it into zones of colour. Within this large expanse, touches of bright orange, maroon, teal and cyan appear in transparency here and there in the tesserae-like knife-strokes. The round form is encircled by a blue and white background that acts like a frame within a frame. The lower section of the work is covered in touches of black, red, yellow, white and blue. These contrasting colours achieve a striking effect of figure / ground, with the round shape at the forefront.

Sans titre is dated circa 1964, an extremely productive and effervescent period in the artist’s career. Indeed, the first half of the sixties was a time when he received major national and international recognition. He represented Canada at the 1962 Venice Biennale and won the UNESCO Prize. He had three paintings included in the Art since 1950 exhibition at the Seattle World Fair, and the National Gallery of Canada organized a major retrospective of his works, titled Jean Paul Riopelle: Painting and Sculpture, which then toured to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1963.

During this time, Riopelle was also working towards the monumental painting Point de rencontre, commissioned for Toronto Pearson International Airport in 1964, by producing larger and larger works. While he was experimenting on a more imposing scale, he also started working in a variety of other mediums, such as drawing, watercolour, printmaking and sculpture.

Sans titre is a superb example of Riopelle’s works from the early sixties and his continued evolution towards form. This work showcases his characteristic choice of vibrant colours and buoyant movement across the canvas. The composition’s central form foreshadows his forthcoming partial return to figuration. Although certainly not figurative, this painting might suggest certain elements of nature. Perhaps the central form is reminiscent of the sun? Or maybe a face? Riopelle himself explained: “My paintings that are considered the most abstract are, in my opinion, the most representational in the strictest sense of the term.… Abstract: ‘abstraction,’ ‘taken from,’ ‘to bring from’.… I work the other way around. I do not take from Nature, I move toward Nature.”[2]

1. Yves Michaud, “Organicity and Cosmic Flow,” in Jean Paul Riopelle Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 3, 1960–1965, ed. Yseult Riopelle and Tanguy Riopelle (Montreal: Hibou Éditeurs, 2009), 56.

2. Quoted in Michel Waldberg, “Riopelle, the Absolute Gap,” in Jean-Paul Riopelle Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, 1939–1954, ed. Yseult Riopelle (Montreal: Hibou Éditeurs, 1999), 42.

Estimate: $300,000 - $400,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information posted, errors and omissions may occur. All bids are subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business. Bidders must ensure they have satisfied themselves with the condition of the Lot prior to bidding. Condition reports are available upon request.

[ translate ]
Sale price
Unlock
Estimate
Unlock
Time, Location
23 Nov 2023
Canada
Auction House
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