Canadian artist, R.C.A. Order of Canada Companion


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Jean-Paul Riopelle was born in Montreal, Canada in 1923. He was the only son of an architect and began painting when only eight years old. In 1940 he became a member of Les Automatistes movement.

Riopelle's style in the 1940s changed quickly from Surrealism to Lyrical Abstraction (related to abstract expressionism), in which he used myriad tumultuous cubes and triangles of multicolored elements, facetted with a palette knife, spatula, or trowel, on often large canvases to create powerful atmospheres. His oil painting technique allowed him to paint thick layers, producing peaks and troughs as copious amounts of paint were applied to the surface of the canvas.  After diversifying his means of expression during the 1960s (turning to ink on paper, watercolors, lithography, collage and oils), he experimented with sculptural installations, including a fountain in Montreal's Olympic Stadium, called La joute.

1941- Engineering, architecture and photography at the École Polytechnique
1942- École des Beaux-arts, Montreal
Academic École du Meuble

Three Hundred Years of Canadian Art, National Gallery
1962- Venice Biennale
1947- Exhibited with the surrealists
1949- Galerie La Dragonne, Paris


Awards and Grants
Prize Louis-Philippe-Hebert
Prize Paul-Emile Borduas
1969 - he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada
1988 - he was made an Officer of the National Order of Quebec
2000 - Riopelle was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame

1963- Fifteen Canadian Artists
1965- Contemporary American
1966- Painting in Canada: A History
1966- Great Canadian Painting: A Century of Art
1967- Modern Painting in French Canada
1967- Three Hundred Years of Canadian Art
1969- Contemporary Art
1970- Canadian Art Today
1971- Praeger Encyclopedia of Art
1972- Contemporary Art
1973- Painters of Quebec-National Gallery of Canada
1977- Painting and Sculpture
1978- 16 Quebec Painters in Their Milieu
1981- The Oxford Companion

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