Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923 -
) is the artist who painted Ici, La bas (1957), seen at left.
Although he is associated with the artistic iconoclasts Paul-Émile
Borduas and the Automatistes, Riopelles work as an abstract painter
evolved through several styles. He was especially known for his wild,
energetic brushstrokes of colour.
By the middle of the 1950s, he had begun painting with his palette knife,
which resulted in vibrant compositions of rectangular strokes resembling
shards of broken colour.
Riopelle had always gone to nature for inspiration, and as his work in
the late '50s leaned more and more toward figuration based on marine plant
life, he and Borduas, whose work was becoming more formal and reductive,
Ici, la bas is a classic Riopelle painting from the
period of the palette-knife works, in which his canvases shimmered with
his attempts to capture effects of light and colour. The painting was
a gift to the art gallery from Dr. Max Stern.