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LOT 011

Marcelle Ferron

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AANFM AUTO CAS QMG RCA SAAVQ SAPQ
1924 - 2001
Canadian

Le gypaète pourpre
oil on canvas
signed and dated 1959 and on verso signed, titled, dated and inscribed "14"
51 x 38 in, 129.5 x 96.5 cm

CAD
PRICE: $301,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Paul-Henri Lapointe, Montreal
Private Collection, Toronto
Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, November 19, 2008, lot 21
Acquired from the above by an Important Private Collection, Montreal

LITERATURE
Marcelle Ferron de 1945 à 1970, Musée d'art contemporain, 1970, listed and reproduced, unpaginated
Video interview with Jean Sarrazin, "Lumineuse Ferron," Radio-Canada, May 24, 1970, http://archives.radio-canada.ca/arts_culture/arts_visuels/clips/9153, accessed September 12, 2008

EXHIBITED
Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, Brazil, VI Bienal, 1961
Musée d'art contemporain, Montreal, Marcelle Ferron de 1945 à 1970, April 8 - May 31, 1970, catalogue #39

Throughout her career, Marcelle Ferron’s painting was defined by an expressive, exuberant approach to colour and gesture. After meeting Paul-Émile Borduas in 1946, she quickly became a powerful voice in the emerging language of Québécois painterly abstraction. Between 1953 and 1966, Ferron swapped Montreal for Paris, where she rapidly developed her technique and practice. While her Montreal paintings had been characterized by dense compositions, smaller sizes and dark palettes, Paris provided her with the opportunity to produce larger works and gave her access to more expensive, vibrant pigments. During this period Ferron came into her own, and by the late 1950s, she was exhibiting alongside other accomplished expat abstractionists such as Joan Mitchell and Sam Francis. Whereas those artists were defined by their gestural, curvilinear brushwork, Ferron’s paintings displayed an affinity for broad strokes of vibrant colour, deliberately arranged in flurries of movement.

To produce her tumultuous complexes of colour and light, Ferron would frequently mix her own paints, grinding pigments and binding them with poppy- and linseed oils to create vivid and unique shades. At the same time, Ferron began to eschew the use of paintbrushes in favour of palette knives. These were often impressive tools in their own right: Ferron employed a metalsmith to custom-build larger-than-normal blades, sometimes up to a metre long. She also employed what she called “squeegees,” knives with a large blade fixed at right angles to the handle, which she would use for what she termed “great moments” or “rakings.” She utilized these knives and spatulas to create ever larger and more expressive painterly gestures, pulling vibrant hues through white backgrounds to create rich, riotous fields of colour.

The results can be dramatic, as seen in Le gypaète pourpre. The central form is an unstable whirlwind, pivoting around the centre of the canvas. Successive rasps of greens, purples and blues are overlaid and suffused with broad sweeps of red, crimson and orange, causing the whole mass to seem to vibrate and roil into itself. The dense arrangement of paint-strokes withdraws from the edges of the canvas, allowing the brilliant white field to both enframe and streak through the urgent mix of movement and colour of the central form. Indeed, Ferron prioritized white pigment in her compositions, as both background and structure for her more chromatic hues. (Occasionally she went so far as to repaint and revitalize any whites that had yellowed with age on older paintings, so long as they were still in her possession.) Here, white intersects and streaks through the more vivid colours, suggesting a forceful and energetic arrangement that complicates any initial legibility of a figure / ground relationship.

Expressive but meticulous, Le gypaète pourpre is a confident rhapsody of colour and an exemplary demonstration of Ferron’s amplified, energetic painting. Ferron exhibited this canvas along with five others in the VI Bienal (1961) in São Paulo, Brazil, representing Canada alongside Ron Bloore, Alex Colville, Gordon Smith and Harold Town; there, she won the silver medal, making her the first Québécoise to receive such an international recognition.

Available for post auction sale. 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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Time, Location
23 Nov 2023
Canada
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[ translate ]

AANFM AUTO CAS QMG RCA SAAVQ SAPQ
1924 - 2001
Canadian

Le gypaète pourpre
oil on canvas
signed and dated 1959 and on verso signed, titled, dated and inscribed "14"
51 x 38 in, 129.5 x 96.5 cm

CAD
PRICE: $301,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Paul-Henri Lapointe, Montreal
Private Collection, Toronto
Canadian Post-War & Contemporary Art, Heffel Fine Art Auction House, November 19, 2008, lot 21
Acquired from the above by an Important Private Collection, Montreal

LITERATURE
Marcelle Ferron de 1945 à 1970, Musée d'art contemporain, 1970, listed and reproduced, unpaginated
Video interview with Jean Sarrazin, "Lumineuse Ferron," Radio-Canada, May 24, 1970, http://archives.radio-canada.ca/arts_culture/arts_visuels/clips/9153, accessed September 12, 2008

EXHIBITED
Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, Brazil, VI Bienal, 1961
Musée d'art contemporain, Montreal, Marcelle Ferron de 1945 à 1970, April 8 - May 31, 1970, catalogue #39

Throughout her career, Marcelle Ferron’s painting was defined by an expressive, exuberant approach to colour and gesture. After meeting Paul-Émile Borduas in 1946, she quickly became a powerful voice in the emerging language of Québécois painterly abstraction. Between 1953 and 1966, Ferron swapped Montreal for Paris, where she rapidly developed her technique and practice. While her Montreal paintings had been characterized by dense compositions, smaller sizes and dark palettes, Paris provided her with the opportunity to produce larger works and gave her access to more expensive, vibrant pigments. During this period Ferron came into her own, and by the late 1950s, she was exhibiting alongside other accomplished expat abstractionists such as Joan Mitchell and Sam Francis. Whereas those artists were defined by their gestural, curvilinear brushwork, Ferron’s paintings displayed an affinity for broad strokes of vibrant colour, deliberately arranged in flurries of movement.

To produce her tumultuous complexes of colour and light, Ferron would frequently mix her own paints, grinding pigments and binding them with poppy- and linseed oils to create vivid and unique shades. At the same time, Ferron began to eschew the use of paintbrushes in favour of palette knives. These were often impressive tools in their own right: Ferron employed a metalsmith to custom-build larger-than-normal blades, sometimes up to a metre long. She also employed what she called “squeegees,” knives with a large blade fixed at right angles to the handle, which she would use for what she termed “great moments” or “rakings.” She utilized these knives and spatulas to create ever larger and more expressive painterly gestures, pulling vibrant hues through white backgrounds to create rich, riotous fields of colour.

The results can be dramatic, as seen in Le gypaète pourpre. The central form is an unstable whirlwind, pivoting around the centre of the canvas. Successive rasps of greens, purples and blues are overlaid and suffused with broad sweeps of red, crimson and orange, causing the whole mass to seem to vibrate and roil into itself. The dense arrangement of paint-strokes withdraws from the edges of the canvas, allowing the brilliant white field to both enframe and streak through the urgent mix of movement and colour of the central form. Indeed, Ferron prioritized white pigment in her compositions, as both background and structure for her more chromatic hues. (Occasionally she went so far as to repaint and revitalize any whites that had yellowed with age on older paintings, so long as they were still in her possession.) Here, white intersects and streaks through the more vivid colours, suggesting a forceful and energetic arrangement that complicates any initial legibility of a figure / ground relationship.

Expressive but meticulous, Le gypaète pourpre is a confident rhapsody of colour and an exemplary demonstration of Ferron’s amplified, energetic painting. Ferron exhibited this canvas along with five others in the VI Bienal (1961) in São Paulo, Brazil, representing Canada alongside Ron Bloore, Alex Colville, Gordon Smith and Harold Town; there, she won the silver medal, making her the first Québécoise to receive such an international recognition.

Available for post auction sale. 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 ]
Estimate
Unlock
Time, Location
23 Nov 2023
Canada
Auction House
Unlock