Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Great Artists - Jean Paul Riopelle

In our lives, the chaos continues. Big life changes, personally and professionally. Long hours, deadlines, the uncomfortable feeling that there are times in life when you feel like your time is not even your own. I am choosing not to discuss these events for the moment until the dust settles...but until then...

I have missed blogging. We continue to create though it has been more fit and spurt in the recent weeks due to outside demands for our time and attention. Those few stolen moments of peace and quiet usually result in my burying my nose in a book for a little relaxation and distraction from the day. The latest titles include "Jackson Pollock : An American Saga" by Steven Naifeh and "The Art Spirit" By Robert Henri. AMAZING books! A must read for art and artist enthusiasts.

During these hectic days I often think of works-in-progress and potential paintings to be. It also brings to my mind artists that I admire... There is nothing I love to do more then share the art of others so I have decided that on occasion, this blog will be a platform for that. Some artists will be living, some will not. Some are so famous that you would have to have been living under a rock to not have heard of them, others, a little more obscure but no less talented! Time constraints do not allow for the amount of research and biography I would like to include, but I will include links and book titles wherever possible for anyone interested in further reading. Pictures posted will be a sampling of works, ( probably pieces favored by me) but by no means to be considered an in-depth representation of the artist's work. Please utilize the links for more comprehensive reading.

I hope you enjoy these brief art walks...

Jean Paul Riopelle ( 1923 - 2002 )

"When I hesitate, I do not paint. When I paint, I do not hesitate."

Jean Paul Riopelle was a Internationally acclaimed Canadian abstract expressionist known for his large vibrant mosaic-like abstracts. Riopelle was an original member of the Les Automatistes, a group of Quebecois artistic dissidents from Montreal Quebec and active in the artistic revolts that characterized those times. In his obituary listed with The Canadian Encyclopedia, he was described as a blend between Jackson Pollock and Henri Matisse. It was said that Riopelle always detested being referred to as an abstract expressionist, as he was raw, edgy and physically brutal in his artistic approach and style, what he himself termed as 'action paintings'. He was previously married to dancer Francoise l 'Esperance, the father of two daughters and eventually a resident of France, but his life was also characterized by his hard drinking, passion for fast cars and a lengthy and volatile relationship with another re-knowned abstract artist of that time, Joan Mitchell. Riopelle rose to staggering heights on the Paris art scene with the aid of Pierre Matisse ( son of artist Henri Matisse) and later became the youngest artist to have a retrospective at the National Gallery in 1963. Riopelle moved back to Quebec in 1972 and continued to produce work even while suffering the debilitating effects of osteoporosis. Riopelle passed away in 2002.

Further Reading on Jean Paul Riopelle

Riopelle in Conversation ( with Gilbert Erouart / translated by Donald Winkler)

Quotes by Jean Paul Riopelle

"When a painter does a good painting, he does it in the throes of terror."

"In its organization, nature is my reference."

"To progress is to destroy what we believed acquired."

"If I could live without a passport, that could be ideal. What I love is to move about freely."

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