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 painter 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.
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