RIOPELLE "LE SABLIER 1" LITHO, 1979
With a world auction record of $2.3 million, achieved at Christie's in Paris in 2012, Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002) is arguably the most successful post-war abstract painter from Canada.
While Americans have traditionally favored Jackson Pollock as the most influential Abstract Expressionist of the 20th century, in Europe Riopelle's stature is of competing importance for his version of 'automatic' action painting.
His early canvases were densely intricate webs of constructed color created by using a palette knife. His later work both loosened up and became more structured as he experimented with composition and more specific or limited palettes.
Riopelle would also embrace a range of medium including works on paper and prints.
"Le Sablier" is from a small portfolio from 1979 published by the illustrious Maeght.
"Sablier" is the French word for "hourglass" and some of the other works from this portfolio could be interpreted as representations for the passage of time.
This particular work, with its beautiful palette of blue, gray, yellow and tan, almost seems to foreshadow Riopelle's last body of work where he includes figuration and interprets various birds of his native Quebec.
This is distinctive paradigm of Riopelle's printmaking.
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Printed in France, circa 1970 by the legendary Galerie Maeght.
Additional images available on request.
France, circa 1979.
Published by Maeght, Paris