Composition

Jean McEwen (1923 - 1999)

Composition, 1953

  • Gallery

    Galerie Cosner au Ritz-Carlton Montréal

  • Medium

    Oil on canvas

  • Time

    Post-War Canadian art

  • Dimensions

    76,2 cm x 101,6 cm / 30'' x 40''

  • Signed

    Signed and dated 53 lower left

Jean McEwen's career began in 1951 when he decided to leave his pharmacy studies to concentrate on painting. He is greatly inspired by "Automatistes" artists such as Borduas and Riopelle who advocate the spontaneity of the unconscious in creation. At the invitation of Paul-Emile Borduas, Jean Mc Ewen leaves Montreal to visit him in Paris.

It is in the contemporary Parisian artistic climate that the young artist rubs shoulders with American artists of lyrical abstraction such as Jackson Pollock and Sam Francis. The first works of McEwen's career are then marked by this strong influence where color had a completely new aesthetic.

In Composition, 1953, the technique of the young artist is quite different from what we will see later. From 1952, he applied color with a knife by dynamic movements and this in the full surface like what Jean-Paul Riopelle could do. This technique disappeared during the 1950s to make way for the application of paint with the hands and which will make the artist famous. But whatever technique the artist uses, Mc Ewen will be driven by the desire that these works be an experience and a sensation for the viewer.


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