Jean-Paul Riopelle was born in Quebec 7 October, 1923 and died there on 12 March, 2002. His early studies as an artist were under Paul-Emile Borduas in Quebec during the 1940’s. He was one of the early members of a group called Les Automatistes. He moved to Paris in 1949 and was part of the remarkable resurgence in all aspects of art which took place in postwar Paris. Just imagine the intense influences that artists like Jean Paul Sarte, Simone de Beauvoir, Picasso, Joan Miro, Braque and so many others had on all young artists of the time. Some other names from the time: Edith Piaf, Coco Chanel, Bernard Buffet, Ernest Hemingway – the list goes on and on!
Riopelle was one of the very first Canadian artists to make his presence felt on the world stage and brought legitimacy to being a Canadian artist. He also smartly played up and enhanced his reputation as a “wild Canadian” which helped him to establish himself in a highly competitive setting.
As time went on, and his recognition made it easier to live and work in Canada, Riopelle spent more and more of his time here, being named a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1969, and an officer of the National Order of Quebec in 1988. He was also recognized by UNESCO for his body of work. The Montreal Museum of Art has a large collection of his work.
The primary commercial Gallery and publisher of art publications in Paris at the time that Riopelle was working there was Galerie Maeght run by Aime and Marguerite Maeght. This firm published prints and lithographs and had a long association with Joan Miro, Alexander Calder, Giacometti, and Bracht among many other artists; and Riopelle’s work was published by them in an issue of Derriere le Miroir(Behind the Mirror), a publication that came out regularly luxuriously folded but not bound into a format that fit into a 11×13 slipcase, and enabled prints to be framed without any pinhole marks from bindings. These publications were limited in number and bring a high price today when they show up on the market.
http://www.artdaily.com/index.asp?int_sec=11&int_new=26496&int_modo=2 this link provides more backgroung on Galerie Maeght
I have been fortunate indeed to acquire one of the Maeght lithos from “Derriere le Miroir” and am offering it to my clients beautifully framed in archival quality materials. The close up above shows the lovely detail and the picture above that one provides the provenance for this print and some details about “Derriere le Miroir”