Winnipeg Arts Council

Riopelle: Crossroads in Time

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To celebrate the centennial of Jean Paul Riopelle’s birth, WAG-Qaumajuq will host a special retrospective of the artist that examines the 20th-century artistic trailblazer through a 21st century lens.

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada and curated by Guest Curator Sylvie Lacerte, Riopelle: Crossroads in Time draws on the artist’s oeuvre across various mediums and challenges some of the pervasive assumptions about his life and work. Offering a unique take on this famed Canadian artist, the exhibition includes artworks from collections across Canada, including the permanent collection of WAG-Qaumajuq.

Visitors will discover the full force of Riopelle’s influence through the inclusion of selected works by artists – both his contemporaries and some working today – who represent a broad range of cultural and aesthetic perspectives.


Jean Paul Riopelle

Jean Paul Riopelle (1923–2002) is one of Canada’s most significant artists of the twentieth century. Attracted to painting from a young age, in 1943 he enrolled in the art program at Montreal’s École du meuble, where he met the painter Paul-Émile Borduas (1905–1960). The encounter was life changing for Riopelle, who went on to join the Automatistes, an influential group of Québécois artists, and to be a signatory of their landmark 1948 manifesto, Refus global. He later settled in Paris, where he became the most famous Canadian painters in Europe and the rest of the world. Stylistically linked to many of the most important art movements of his time, Riopelle’s legacy is his large and diverse body of work, expressing both abstraction and figuration in imaginative and surprising ways.