"My purpose is not abstraction. It's moving towards free
gesture; it's trying to understand what is nature."
Jean-Paul Riopelle had moved to Paris in 1946, he is regarded as
an integral part of the artistic revolution that took place in
Montreal in the late
Riopelle formed a group of artists that worked and exhibited
together that became known as the Automatistes for their spontaneous
method of painting
which drew on the subconcious as a source.
In 1942, Riopelle studied at Montreal's Ecole de beaux arts and under Paul-Emile
Borduas at the Ecole de meuble. There he came into contact with Surrealist
theories of Automatism that encouraged a spontaneous expression of the subconcious
art. With Borduas's encouragement, Jean-Paul made his first abstract painting.
Recognized aboard by the late 1940s, Riopelle had achieved international success
by the 1950s.
Prime Minister Jean Chretien issued this statement on the news of the death of Riopelle on March 13, 2002: "Throughout the world, the name Riopelle is pronounced with the same reverence and the same familiarity as the names of artists and writers such as Picasso and Beckett. He was among those who most heavily influenced the history of the visual arts in the twentieth century, primarily by his adherence to the automatistes school. He leaves us a body of work characterized by passion and intensity where talent is equalled only by a love of life. Jean-Paul Riopelle, painter, sculptor and lover of fine arts, has left us."
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