Five decades of artistic creation by one of Canada's most celebrated 20th-century visual artists at home and abroad, as you've never seen it before
OTTAWA, ON, Oct. 25, 2023 /CNW/ - The opening of the major retrospective Riopelle: Crossroads in Time will take place tomorrow evening, October 26, starting at 5 p.m. EDT, as part of the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) Free Thursday Nights. On view until April 7, 2024, the exhibition showcases the breadth of Jean Paul Riopelle's talent and the diversity of his work and passions, including his acclaimed works alongside creations rarely or never seen before.
"Paying homage to Jean Paul Riopelle on the centenary of his birth is not only important but also an opportunity to discover or become reacquainted with his artistic legacy," said Jean-François Bélisle, Director and CEO of the NGC. "In this exhibition, we see Riopelle venture off the beaten path, stretching the limits of paint by applying it with a palette knife or spray can, or diving into sculpture, printmaking, drawing and even collage, continually defying the borders between figuration and abstraction. I hope that the discoveries and reminiscences gathered here will move you as much as they have moved us. I would also like to express our deepest gratitude to the numerous lenders for their generosity in parting with their works so that the public could enjoy them. Riopelle: Crossroads in Time and the new perspectives that it opens would not have been possible without their contributions."
Organized by the NGC and guest curated by Sylvie Lacerte, PhD, art historian, author and independent researcher, Riopelle: Crossroads in Time offers an original portrait of the artist and challenges some of the preconceived ideas about his work. Through his creative cycles, it explores his multifaceted practice, his thirst for freedom of expression outside schools and diktats, his insatiable curiosity, and his visionary and innovative approach.
The retrospective is organized chronologically and unfolds five decades of Jean Paul Riopelle's career, from his earliest works and his Automatiste period in the 1940s, to his last works in the early 1990s. In between these two bookends, we move through the 1950s, marked by the artist's famous abstract mosaics; the 1960s, during which he became much sought after; his prolific exploration of mixed techniques and bronze sculpture in the 1970s; and his return to figuration in the 1980s as he had done in his early days.
"Jean Paul Riopelle is a pillar of our history, who has left in his wake a multifaceted body of work that encourages pushing past boundaries, and this is perhaps his greatest legacy," points out Sylvie Lacerte, guest curator of the retrospective Riopelle: Crossroads in Time. "Underlining the extraordinary career of this prodigious artist enables us to keep the memory of his accomplishments alive. Riopelle was first and foremost a trailblazer, and that is precisely what made him an eminently contemporary artist. Riopelle was invested in the present moment; situating him at a crossroads in time ? in the past that was his and the present that is ours ? highlights the currency of a body of work that will always be in the here and now."
Among the works on view are Le Perroquet vert [The Green Parrot], 1949; the monumental triptych Hommage aux Nymphéas ? Pavane [Tribute to the Water Lilies ? Pavane], 1954, from the NGC Collection; the collage Gardes [Guards], 1967; the sculpture Hibou accompagné [Accompanied Owl], 1970; and one of his last works, Sans titre (Autour de Rosa) [Untitled (About Rosa)], 1992.
Visitors will also discover Riopelle's influence across a broad range of cultural and aesthetic perspectives through the inclusion of selected works by his contemporaries ? Sam Francis, Alberto Giacometti, Roseline Granet, Serge Lemoyne, Joan Mitchell, and Françoise Sullivan ? and some visual artists working today ? Thomas Corriveau, Patrick Coutu, Brian Jungen, Manuel Mathieu, Caroline Monnet, Marc-Antoine K. Phaneuf, Marc Séguin, et Aïda Vosoughi.
In addition to the works drawn from the NGC Collection, works on display come from some thirty Canadian and international private and public collections, including the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; the Art Gallery of Ontario; the Musée national d'art moderne at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa, France Chrétien-Desmarais and André Desmarais, Yseult Riopelle, Simon Blais, and Huguette Vachon. In all, some 130 works testify to Riopelle's exceptional talent and significant legacy.
The public is invited to join guest curator Sylvie Lacerte for a guided tour of the exhibition on Saturday, October 28, at 2 p.m. EDT in English and at 11 a.m. EDT in French. Visit gallery.ca to learn more about the public program offered in conjunction with Riopelle: Crossroads in Time.
A richly illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition. It is on sale at the Gallery's Boutique and at ShopNGC.ca.
The Gallery is grateful for the generous support of the Heffel Foundation and VIA Rail Canada, sponsors of the exhibition. Riopelle: Crossroads in Time is also made possible thanks to the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, The Young Family Foundation and Don and Sheila Pether. Special thanks to Power Corporation of Canada, principal supporter of the NGC Foundation's Jean Paul Riopelle gala. Riopelle: Crossroads in Time is presented as part of the Jean Paul Riopelle Centennial celebrations, an initiative of the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation. #Riopelle100
Riopelle: Crossroads in Time will be on view at the Winnipeg Art Gallery from June 1 to September 29, 2024
Tomorrow evening's public opening is part of the Gallery's popular Free Thursday Nights, which is supported by the Sobey Art Foundation in celebration of the 2023 Sobey Art Award exhibition for the duration of its run.
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Ankosé: Everything is Connected / Tout est relié
The NGC is dedicated to amplifying voices through art and extending the reach and breadth of its collection, exhibitions program, and public activities to represent all Canadians, while centring Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Ankosé?an Anishinaabemowin word that means "everything is connected"?reflects the Gallery's mission to create dynamic experiences that open hearts and minds, and allow for new ways of seeing ourselves, one another, and our diverse histories, through the visual arts. The NGC is home to a rich contemporary Indigenous international art collection, as well as important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian and European art from the 14th to the 21st century. Founded in 1880, the NGC has played a key role in Canadian culture for more than 140 years.
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SOURCE National Gallery of Canada