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LOT 036

Jean Paul Riopelle

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AUTO CAS OC QMG RCA SCA
1923 - 2002
Canadian

Les oies
oil on canvas, 1967
signed and on verso titled Les oies V, inscribed variously and stamped Lucien Lefebvre Foinet Paris and 30F
28 3/4 x 36 1/4 in, 73 x 92.1 cm

CAD

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Galerie Maeght, Paris
Perrin-Royère-Lajeunesse, Versailles, June 28, 1987
Tableaux des XIXE et XXE Siècles, Jean-Louis Picard, June 3, 1992, lot 90
Art moderne et contemporain, Watine-Arnault, Paris, November 24, 1993, lot 150
A Prominent European Private Collection

LITERATURE
Yseult Riopelle, Jean Paul Riopelle Catalogue Raisonné, Volume 4, 1966 - 1971, 2014, reproduced page 132, catalogue #1967.003H.1967

EXHIBITED
Centre culturel canadien, Paris, Riopelle 1955 – 1975, March 11 - April 21, 1976, catalogue #19

Animals appear in Jean Paul Riopelle’s oeuvre so frequently that their apparition in paintings, sculptures and prints makes up what one could only describe as an impressive bestiary. Given their ubiquity, it is surprising to see the artist somewhat trivialize their meaning. Indeed, when asked about his owls, Riopelle replied: “If someone asked me why I drew two thousand owls, I would say ‘It was to make ten lithographs.’ But in reality, it was making the two thousand owls that interested me. Not because they are owls. I couldn’t care less about owls. They aren’t necessarily symbols. I wasn’t thinking of what they meant when I made them. I made them.”[1]

However wry, his answer is quite revealing. The animal is a pretext for creation, not an end in itself. The meaning behind the animal is that there is no meaning. Animals are, rather, sources of formal experimentation. To quote the late art historian François-Marc Gagnon: “All these works with bird subjects are evidence of a practise that is supported by nature and serves as the pretext for creation. For Riopelle, there was no gap between his abstract work and his figurative work. Both were a part of the same act, the same ‘doing.’ ”[2]

Riopelle’s bestiary is incredibly exhaustive and diverse. It includes farm and domesticated animals, like roosters, horses, dogs; animals of the Canadian wilderness that Riopelle would hunt for on occasion, like hare, caribou and pheasant; aquatic creatures, like sturgeon and seahorses; and even exotic animals, such as the monkey and the elephant. However, his two preferred animals, so recurrent in his works that they have become synonymous with Riopelle, were the owl and the goose.

The goose, and more specifically the snow goose, is central in the work of Riopelle, and is probably the motif that resonates the most with the collective imagination and identity of the Canadian public. It is also intrinsically linked with the artist’s identity as trappeur supérieur, active hunter and nature lover. He even lived in close proximity to these geese when he established his second studio, on Île-aux-Oies (Island of Geese), in the early 1990s. The island is connected to Îsle-aux-Grues (Island of Cranes) by a sandbar. When describing the location of his new studio, Riopelle said, “It’s paradise… The geese bring on the first snow…”[3]

Although there are no geese per se in Les oies (The Geese), Riopelle conjures up images of flocks of migrating snow geese on the banks of the St. Lawrence River by assigning the work its name. On his titles, art historian Robert Enright wrote: “In many of his paintings, drawings and sculptures, we can never be sure if the naming came before the work was made, if it was suggested in the making of the work, or if it was decided once the work was completed.”[4]

In Les oies, bright, luminous touches of white take up most of the surface of the canvas. Expressive and sharp touches of deep blacks, contrasted with light yellows, break up the vast expanse of white. Along the upper edge, a strip of rich blue suggests a sliver of sky or the waterline. If the animal is even suggested here, it has been deliberately blurred with the space it occupies. Although strictly abstract, Les oies anticipates the artist’s later figurative depictions of geese.

1. Quoted in Gilles Daigneault, “Did Someone Say ‘Bestiary’?,” in Riopelle: les migrations du Bestiaire: une rétrospective (Montreal: Hibou Éditeurs, 2014), exhibition catalogue, 13–14.

2. François-Marc Gagnon, “The Owls, 1970,” in Jean Paul Riopelle: Life & Work (Toronto: Art Canada Institute, 2019), 46.

3. Quoted in Gilbert Érouart, Riopelle in Conversation (Concord, ON: House of Anansi Press, 1995), 18.

4. Robert Enright, “The Inside Animal: Jean Paul Riopelle’s Eccentric Bestiary,” in Simon Blais et al., Les migrations, 23.

Estimate: $175,000 - $225,000 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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Canada
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[ translate ]

AUTO CAS OC QMG RCA SCA
1923 - 2002
Canadian

Les oies
oil on canvas, 1967
signed and on verso titled Les oies V, inscribed variously and stamped Lucien Lefebvre Foinet Paris and 30F
28 3/4 x 36 1/4 in, 73 x 92.1 cm

CAD

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Galerie Maeght, Paris
Perrin-Royère-Lajeunesse, Versailles, June 28, 1987
Tableaux des XIXE et XXE Siècles, Jean-Louis Picard, June 3, 1992, lot 90
Art moderne et contemporain, Watine-Arnault, Paris, November 24, 1993, lot 150
A Prominent European Private Collection

LITERATURE
Yseult Riopelle, Jean Paul Riopelle Catalogue Raisonné, Volume 4, 1966 - 1971, 2014, reproduced page 132, catalogue #1967.003H.1967

EXHIBITED
Centre culturel canadien, Paris, Riopelle 1955 – 1975, March 11 - April 21, 1976, catalogue #19

Animals appear in Jean Paul Riopelle’s oeuvre so frequently that their apparition in paintings, sculptures and prints makes up what one could only describe as an impressive bestiary. Given their ubiquity, it is surprising to see the artist somewhat trivialize their meaning. Indeed, when asked about his owls, Riopelle replied: “If someone asked me why I drew two thousand owls, I would say ‘It was to make ten lithographs.’ But in reality, it was making the two thousand owls that interested me. Not because they are owls. I couldn’t care less about owls. They aren’t necessarily symbols. I wasn’t thinking of what they meant when I made them. I made them.”[1]

However wry, his answer is quite revealing. The animal is a pretext for creation, not an end in itself. The meaning behind the animal is that there is no meaning. Animals are, rather, sources of formal experimentation. To quote the late art historian François-Marc Gagnon: “All these works with bird subjects are evidence of a practise that is supported by nature and serves as the pretext for creation. For Riopelle, there was no gap between his abstract work and his figurative work. Both were a part of the same act, the same ‘doing.’ ”[2]

Riopelle’s bestiary is incredibly exhaustive and diverse. It includes farm and domesticated animals, like roosters, horses, dogs; animals of the Canadian wilderness that Riopelle would hunt for on occasion, like hare, caribou and pheasant; aquatic creatures, like sturgeon and seahorses; and even exotic animals, such as the monkey and the elephant. However, his two preferred animals, so recurrent in his works that they have become synonymous with Riopelle, were the owl and the goose.

The goose, and more specifically the snow goose, is central in the work of Riopelle, and is probably the motif that resonates the most with the collective imagination and identity of the Canadian public. It is also intrinsically linked with the artist’s identity as trappeur supérieur, active hunter and nature lover. He even lived in close proximity to these geese when he established his second studio, on Île-aux-Oies (Island of Geese), in the early 1990s. The island is connected to Îsle-aux-Grues (Island of Cranes) by a sandbar. When describing the location of his new studio, Riopelle said, “It’s paradise… The geese bring on the first snow…”[3]

Although there are no geese per se in Les oies (The Geese), Riopelle conjures up images of flocks of migrating snow geese on the banks of the St. Lawrence River by assigning the work its name. On his titles, art historian Robert Enright wrote: “In many of his paintings, drawings and sculptures, we can never be sure if the naming came before the work was made, if it was suggested in the making of the work, or if it was decided once the work was completed.”[4]

In Les oies, bright, luminous touches of white take up most of the surface of the canvas. Expressive and sharp touches of deep blacks, contrasted with light yellows, break up the vast expanse of white. Along the upper edge, a strip of rich blue suggests a sliver of sky or the waterline. If the animal is even suggested here, it has been deliberately blurred with the space it occupies. Although strictly abstract, Les oies anticipates the artist’s later figurative depictions of geese.

1. Quoted in Gilles Daigneault, “Did Someone Say ‘Bestiary’?,” in Riopelle: les migrations du Bestiaire: une rétrospective (Montreal: Hibou Éditeurs, 2014), exhibition catalogue, 13–14.

2. François-Marc Gagnon, “The Owls, 1970,” in Jean Paul Riopelle: Life & Work (Toronto: Art Canada Institute, 2019), 46.

3. Quoted in Gilbert Érouart, Riopelle in Conversation (Concord, ON: House of Anansi Press, 1995), 18.

4. Robert Enright, “The Inside Animal: Jean Paul Riopelle’s Eccentric Bestiary,” in Simon Blais et al., Les migrations, 23.

Estimate: $175,000 - $225,000 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
Unlock