PavaneEnlarge image

Pavane, 1954

Jean Paul Riopelle
Canadian, 1923 - 2002
oil on canvas
300 x 550.2 cm overall
Purchased 1963
National Gallery of Canada (no. 15038.1-3)
© Estate of Jean Paul Riopelle / SODRAC (2013)

Jean Paul Riopelle was one of the most ambitious artists of the group "Les Automatistes". The artist applied paint directly to the surface of the canvas using a palette knife, blending each mark in a free, abstract and automatic gesture. Space is created by the relationships of colours as they intersect or lay in close proximity to each other. This creates an animated surface, with some colours receding and some dancing forward. This monumental triptych was first exhibited in Canada in 1963 as part of the artist’s retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada, and its title refers to a Spanish dance that originated in the 16th century. The dance incorporates a stately and processional rhythm, which is captured in the energy and movement of this painting.




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