Creation of the
Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation

Riopelle, Atelier de L’Isle-aux-Oyes, Rosa, 1992 courtesy of Huguette Vachon


A celebration of the visionary artist Riopelle – an icon of freedom and creativity – as we approach the centenary of his birth in 2023

Montréal, October 3, 2019 – Michael Audain, O.C., O.B.C., Chairman of the Board of Directors, announces the creation of the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation as a tribute to one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Born in Montréal in 1923, Jean Paul Riopelle cherished the dream of seeing his artwork inspire future generations of artists to explore, innovate and surpass their creative potential.

With an immense legacy collection of over 6,000 artworks, Riopelle, who also lived in France for over 40 years, was an ambassador of a rich Canadian heritage, a modern art visionary, a founding member of the Automatistes movement, a signatory of their 1948 Refus Global manifesto, and a painter, engraver, and sculptor.

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Carcajoux, 1971, Mixed media on lithographic essay, 120.5 x 160 cm
© Estate of Jean Paul Riopelle / SOCAN (2020)

The year 2020 will be marked by the presentation as of November 21, 2020 of an exceptional exhibition at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts entitled Riopelle: The call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures.

Based on original research, the exhibition will explore Riopelle’s interest in the North and Indigenous cultures, with nearly 175 works and more than 200 artefacts and archival documents. It will shed a new light on the artist’s work during the 1950s and 1970s by retracing the travels and influences that fed his fascination with northern regions and North American Indigenous communities.

The exhibition will also include historical works from the Yup’ik, Kwakwaka’wakw and Tlingit communities, among others,  important sources of inspiration for Riopelle’s vision, as well as works by contemporary Inuit artists.

We salute the work of guest curators Yseult Riopelle and Andréanne Roy as well as Jacques Des Rochers, curator of Québec and Canadian art at the MMFA.

The Riopelle Foundation is also thankful to be among the prestigious partners of the exhibition, along with other leading members of our great cultural family, namely the Audain Art Museum in Whistler and, particularly, the Audain Foundation who is the major patron of this exciting endeavour.

The exhibition will tour across Canada in the spring 2021, making its first stop at the Audain Art Museum in Whistler for the entire summer, before continuing on to the Glenbow Museum in Calgary until winter 2022.

To learn more about the exhibition, program and partners:
Montréal Museum of Fine Arts

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