The creation of the Foundation was inspired by Jean Paul Riopelle’s dream to communicate his passion for art, his vision and to inspire the next generation of visual artists to explore, innovate and surpass their creative potential. Throughout his career, Riopelle experimented with various techniques, embraced matter, always concerned about the durability and quality of materials while seeking to safeguard and pass on art-making techniques. His desire to create a foundation first emerged in the late 1960s in the South of France as he gained experience through his collaboration with Adrien and Aimé Maeght, who provided communal workspaces for artists. The foundation imagined by Riopelle brought together artists and technicians who would participate in workshops in sculpture, painting, engraving and other techniques. At the time, Riopelle even sketched architectural designs for the building he envisioned as a home for the foundation, inspired by an antique sundial in the home he shared with Joan Mitchell in Vétheuil, France. This was one of his many architectural projects.
In 1980, he endeavoured to establish the foundation in Québec with the intent to host artists and artisans from all corners of the world to create what he referred to as “a new tradition”. His dream was to “get people to work together”. Another attempt would follow in 1995, in the outbuildings of the Château de La Roche-Guyon, around the time of the unveiling of L’Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg in France.
The announcement of the creation of the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation in October of 2019, nearly 20 years after the artist’s death, is driven by admiration and determination. The founding members seek to perpetuate the vision and oeuvre of Riopelle in Canadian and international art, sharing their passion for and appreciation of the artist. The Foundation seeks to fulfill the dream cherished by the artist by creating a space dedicated to celebrating his memory, his life, his art – a space where all will convergent to admire, revisit, rediscover and understand his art and his worldview. The Foundation will enable collectors, art dealers, visual arts experts and aficionados, as well as the general population in his Montréal hometown, in Canada and around the world to reconnect with Riopelle and his immense artistic legacy.
The Foundation is also dedicated to inspiring and supporting the next generation of Canadian and international visual artists. Riopelle thrived on freedom and innovation. The Foundation will encourage and support experimentation and risk-taking in art-making, facilitating cultural partnerships with arts organisations and institutions, faculties and artists’ studios in Canada and around the world. The activities of the foundation will not be confined within the walls of its physical space, but will thrive in partnerships and global collaborations.
Riopelle’s dream will be fulfilled. As one of the most important artists of the 20th century, his legacy will have a lasting impact on the history of Canadian and international art – we hope far beyond his expectations!
The Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation celebrates the life, work and legacy of the artist through the preservation, promotion and dissemination of his work. The Foundation seeks, through innovation, creative programs, arts education, partnerships and support, to inspire future generations of artists and audiences so they can achieve their full creative potential and broaden their appreciation of Jean Paul Riopelle in the history of Canadian and international art.
- Celebrate and broaden the appreciation of Jean Paul Riopelle in the history of Canadian and international art
- Perpetuate the memory of Jean Paul Riopelle by encouraging commemorative action, such as the installation of memory plaques on the buildings in which he lived and worked, as well as advocating the application of his illustrious name to public buildings and spaces
- Encourage Riopelle exhibitions at museums throughout the world, as well as cultural action and collaboration, namely in regard to the centenary of the artist’s birth on October 7, 2023
- Support young Canadian and international visual artists whose interests are unconventional in relation to current trends in art making
- Serve as a repository and a centre of scholarship in the documentation, publication and discourse on the oeuvre of Riopelle
The creation of the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation is the result of the collaboration and vision of exceptional men and women who, inspired by the extraordinary oeuvre and life of Jean Paul Riopelle, came together to fulfill his lifelong dream. The Foundation became a reality in 2018 thanks to the dedication of its six founding members, under the initiative of art collector Michael Audain, whose passion for Riopelle and his oeuvre are equaled only by his ambition to see the artist’s dream come to life to perpetuate his legacy.
Michael J. Audain, OC, OBC
Michael Audain is Chairman of Polygon Homes Ltd., one of British Columbia’s leading home builders. A fifth generation British Columbian, he was educated at the University of British Columbia and the London School of Economics.
An active supporter of the visual arts, Mr. Audain is Chair of the Audain Foundation, the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation, and the Audain Art Museum Foundation. He is past Chair of the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Vancouver Art Gallery Foundation. He is also a director of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, the Audain Art Museum, and the Grizzly Bear Foundation.
Mr. Audain has been appointed to the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia. He has received honorary degrees from five universities, and the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals.
Yseult Riopelle is the daughter of Françoise Lespérance and Jean Paul Riopelle. At the helm of Hibou éditeurs and Kétoupa édition, she has been publishing for several years the Catalogue raisonné de Jean Paul Riopelle. Four of the 10 volumes have been published and a fifth is in the works for 2020.
From 1961 to 1963, Yseult Riopelle studied dance in Montréal with Ludmilla Chiriaeff, Jeanne Renaud and Françoise Riopelle, then in Paris with Karine Weiner from 1963 to 1965, then in New York where she joined the Merce Cunningham Dance Company until 1968.
In the 1970s, while in France, Yseult Riopelle created and exhibited sculpture integrating various materials. In the 1980s, she created jewellery that she presented, among others, at the Montréal Exhibition Centre.
In 1988, Jean Paul Riopelle mandated Yseult Riopelle to act as the exclusive authenticator, researcher and editor of the Catalogue raisonné of his oeuvre. She has been acting as an expert of the oeuvre of Jean Paul Riopelle for Canadian museums, and some of the most prestigious auction houses in the world such as Cornette de St-Cyr, Loudmer, Christie's, Sotheby's, Heffel and Artcurial.
Yseult Riopelle continues to dedicate most of her time to the Catalogue raisonné. She also acts as a consultant for various exhibitions and publications in Paris, New York and Montréal. She is also guest curator for the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts for the exhibition Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures, which will open in Montréal in the fall of 2020, followed by a Canadian tour.
André Desmarais, OC, OQ
Mr. Desmarais is Deputy Chairman of Power Corporation, a position he has held since 1996. He previously served as President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation from 1996 until his retirement in February 2020, as well as Executive Co-Chairman of Power Financial from 2008 to February 2020.
Prior to joining Power Corporation in 1983, he was Special Assistant to the Minister of Justice of Canada and an institutional investment counsellor at Richardson Greenshields Securities Ltd.
He also serves as Deputy Chairman of Power Financial and is a director of many Power Corporation group companies in North America, including Great-West Lifeco, Canada Life, Empower Retirement, Putnam Investments, IGM Financial, IG Wealth Management and Mackenzie. He is also a director and Vice-Chairman of Pargesa in Europe.
Over the years, cultural, health, and other not-for-profit organizations in Montréal have benefitted from his contributions, involvement, and dedication. He has played key roles in a number of fundraising campaigns, including those of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Montreal Heart Institute, Leucan, the Canadian Red Cross, the Canadian Cancer Society, Centraide of Greater Montreal and the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation. He is Chairman of the Fondation Baxter & Alma Ricard, a member of the Chairman’s International Advisory Council of the Americas Society, Honorary Chairman of the Canada China Business Council, and a member of several China-based organizations.
He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University and received honorary doctorates from Concordia University, Université de Montréal and McGill University. In 2003, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and, in 2009, an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec.
The Honorable Serge Joyal, CP, OC, OQ, MSRC, Ad.E.
The Honorable Serge Joyal is a Canadian jurist, a former Member of Parliament, Minister, Secretary of State and Senator.
After his graduation in Law from Université de Montréal, he completed post graduate studies at the Comparative Law Faculty of Strasbourg University (France), he obtained a Master’s degree in Public Law from Sheffield University (England) and registered for a Master of Philosophy at London School of Economics (England).
Serge Joyal has always advocated for the protection of cultural heritage, being among the first directors of Heritage Montreal in 1972, and later a trustee of the Canadian Center for Architecture. He still regularly intervenes publicly with Phyllis Lambert to rescue threatened heritage buildings.
He was co-founder with Father Wilfrid Corbeil in 1968 of the Art Museum of Joliette. He has been a trustee of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts since 2009 and chairs it’s Decorative Arts Committee. A collector of art and historical artefacts, he is a benefactor of several major Canadian museums.
Serge Joyal has written and edited numerous articles and books on law, art and history. A long time promoter of the works of Jean-Paul Riopelle, he was the first to support in 1998 the publication of the first volumes of the Catalogue raisonné of the artist’s works by Yseult Riopelle.
During his distinguished public career, Mr. Joyal has received numerous awards and distinctions including an honorary doctorate from Moncton University (N. B.); he is an Officer of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Order of La Pléiade, an Officer of the National Order of Quebec, a Chevalier (1995), Officier (2008) and Commandeur (2019) of the National Order of the Légion d’honneur (France).
He is a special Member of the Royal Society of Canada and he has been granted the distinction of Advocate Emeritus by the Quebec Bar.
Pierre Lassonde, CM, GOQ
Pierre Lassonde is Past Chairman of Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation, a specialized investment firm he co-founded in 1982 and for which the market capitalization surpasses today 21 billion American dollars.
A dedicated philanthropist in both Canada and the United States in the fields of education, the arts and community, he is Past Chair of the Board of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (2005 to December 2016).
His donations total over $100 million and have gone to create iconic programs such as the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and Studios at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University in Toronto, the Lassonde Mining Engineering program at the University of Toronto, and countless scholarships in various universities in Canada.
Mr. Lassonde served on the board of the Denver Opera Company from 2003 to 2008.
During his tenure as Chair of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, he led the $110 million fundraising campaign, with an initial gift of $10 million and $5 million worth of art toward the creation of the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, dedicated entirely to Canadian art. The Pavilion has revitalized the institution as it has won numerous architectural awards over the past four years.
From 2015 to 2020, Mr. Lassonde acted as Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). Under his leadership the CCA has seen a deep transformation and board renewal that led to a doubling of the budget to $360 M by 2021. His insistence on measuring the impact of the investments has led to the CCA’s recognition as a world leader in the field.
Pierre Lassonde holds a B.A. from Université de Montréal (1967), a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnique de Montréal (1971) and an M.B.A. from University of Utah (1973). He holds honorary doctorates from several Canadian and international universities.
He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2002 and a Grand Officier de l'Ordre national du Québec in 2019. He was inducted as a Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2006 and inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in January 2013.
John R. Porter, CM, OQ, C.LH, O.AL, MSRC, Ph.D.
Holder of a Ph.D. in art history, and a museologist, professor, researcher, administrator and cultural entrepreneur, John R. Porter has led a double career at Université Laval as well as in three of the four most important Canadian art museums, in Ottawa, Montréal and Québec City.
A prolific author and speaker, he was at the helm of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec from 1993 to 2008, where he instigated an ambitious expansion project - the Pierre Lassonde pavilion inaugurated in 2016.
Mr. Porter acted as Chair of Université Laval, and of the Fondation du Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, as well as fiduciary of the Fondation du patrimoine Gilles Vigneault. Consultant and mentor, he is an administrator of various cultural organizations, including Fondation de l'Espace Félix Leclerc, Salon international du livre de Québec as well as the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation.
Holder of an honorary doctorate from Université du Québec à Montréal, Dr. Porter is the recipient of over 40 awards and distinctions in Canada and abroad, including the prestigious Prix Gérard-Morisset, the highest distinction by the Government of Québec for heritage, as well as the Médaille d'honneur de l'Assemblée nationale du Québec.
John R. Porter is an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, a Member of the Order of Canada, Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur and Officer of the Ordre national des arts et lettres de la République française, a Member of the Ordre de la Pléiade, a Member of the Royal Society of Canada, a member of the Académie des grands Québécois as well as Companion of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec.
Manon Gauthier, Executive Director,
Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation
A renowned cultural leader in Québec and in Canada, Manon Gauthier's career spans over 25 years in arts and creativity, communications and philanthropy.
A stalwart leader and advisor, she contributed to the development and positioning of many businesses and organizations at the local, national and international levels. She acted as senior vice-president of leading international public affairs agencies and successfully led the transformation of the Segal Center for Performing Arts, a Montréal icon of cultural and artistic diversity.
During her tenure as an elected official from 2013 to 2017, at a critical moment in the history of the City of Montreal, she contributed to its revival, holding concurrently as a member of the Executive Committee all responsibilities related to culture, heritage, design, the Space for Life and gender equality, in addition to economic development issues linked to creativity, tourism and international relations.
Strong-minded, strategic, a visionary, she stands out through her bridging leadership. Over the last few decades, she forged and cultivated an important network, whether at the public, institutional or within the cultural and economic sectors, including at the international level.
Chantal Shah, Executive Director,
Since beginning her tenure as the Executive Director of the Audain Foundation, Chantal has assisted in the establishment of a number of charitable organizations, including the Audain Art Museum, where she currently serves on the Board of Trustees and as an officer of the Audain Art Museum Foundation.
An important collaborator in the establishment of the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation, Chantal is providing continuing guidance and support to its executive director.
Whether through her contributions to the visual arts in her work for the Audain Foundation or her personal interest in the performing arts, Chantal strives to support a range of arts and cultural organizations across Canada.
Riopelle had big dreams. And his dream for the foundation he imagined, included a diversity of people from all walks of life, converging toward a common objective: innovation and creation.
Like his famous mosaics, the artist imagined his project through the thousand and one shades of colour of the women and men whom, from all corners of the world, would contribute to making his dream a reality.
Would you like to add your own touch of colour to this immense historical fresco? Please join the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation family and inquire into the many ways you can help achieve Riopelle’s dream by filling the form below. Make sure to stay informed as 2023 centenary is coming soon! To discuss contribution opportunities, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.