Jean Albert McEwen

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Jean Albert McEwen

1923 - 1999
AANFM RCA

Jean McEwen was born in 1923 in Montreal, and began painting in 1946 while studying pharmacy at the University of Montreal. His first solo exhibition in 1951, at Galerie Agnès Lefort in Montreal, was received favourably. After encouragement from Paul-Émile Borduas, McEwen traveled to Paris that same year and met with Jean Paul Riopelle in December. After a productive two-year trip in which he painted, visited public galleries and museums in Paris and Spain, exhibited with Riopelle and Sam Francis, traveled with Riopelle to Brittany and saw exhibitions by his New York contemporaries, McEwen returned to Montreal and began working for Frosst pharmaceutical company. He participated in many solo and group exhibitions in Quebec and Ontario in subsequent years, including his first solo show in Toronto at Gallery Moos in 1961, two overseas exhibitions in 1962 and a solo exhibition in 1963 at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York.

The exhibition catalogue from the 1973 Musée d'art contemporain retrospective states, "he was one of the first Quebec artists to stress what was to become the major characteristic of Quebec art after Automatism, that is, the exploration of the dynamic possibilities of colour." This quote succinctly describes McEwen's painting; it is all about colour. Over the course of his career, McEwen experimented with different techniques in applying colour to his canvases. He turned to acrylic paint for a few years, experimented in hard-edge painting and explored various compositional formats for his abstract paintings, but the one constant in his work was his insistence on the importance of colour.

The National Gallery of Canada organized a traveling exhibition of his and Harold Town's work in 1966. In 1969 he became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy. He retired from Frosst in 1973 in order to paint full time, and the same year the Musée d'art contemporain in Montreal organized a retrospective of his work entitled McEwen 1953 - 1973. A Canada Council Award in 1977 allowed him to travel to Paris for nine months, and upon his return he began teaching part time at L'Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (1980 to 1985) and Concordia University (1983 to 1995). The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts organized a retrospective of his work entitled Jean McEwen: Colour in Depth in 1987. McEwen died in Montreal in 1999.



Heffel's Top Results

Record Jean Albert McEwen sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Jean Albert McEwen
Compagnon de silence
90 x 60in 228.6 x 152.4cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $40,000 - $60,000 CDN
Sold for:   $152,100 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Fall 2010 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, November 25, 2010



Record Jean Albert McEwen sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Jean Albert McEwen
Ochre Cell
30 x 30in 76.2 x 76.2cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $60,000 - $80,000 CDN
Sold for:   $118,000 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Spring 2015 - 1st Session auction on Wednesday, May 27, 2015



Record Jean Albert McEwen sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Jean Albert McEwen
Rouge sur rouge
30 x 30in 76.2 x 76.2cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $60,000 - $80,000 CDN
Sold for:   $117,000 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Spring 2010 - 1st Session auction on Wednesday, May 26, 2010



Record Jean Albert McEwen sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Jean Albert McEwen
Le drapeau inconnu
52 x 37 1/2in 132.1 x 95.2cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $60,000 - $80,000 CDN
Sold for:   $112,100 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Fall 2016 - 1st Session auction on Wednesday, November 23, 2016



Record Jean Albert McEwen sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Jean Albert McEwen
Verticale nocturne
59 7/8 x 39in 152.1 x 99cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $80,000 - $120,000 CDN
Sold for:   $111,150 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Fall 2013 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, November 28, 2013



Record Jean Albert McEwen sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Jean Albert McEwen
Verticale entre parenthèses
46 x 35 1/4in 116.8 x 89.5cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $60,000 - $80,000 CDN
Sold for:   $100,300 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Fall 2014 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, November 27, 2014



Record Jean Albert McEwen sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Jean Albert McEwen
Le drapeau inconnu - 4e thème, no. 21
52 x 46in 132.1 x 116.8cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $70,000 - $90,000 CDN
Sold for:   $93,600 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Fall 2008 - 1st Session auction on Wednesday, November 19, 2008



Record Jean Albert McEwen sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Jean Albert McEwen
Les continents fleuris no. 23
40 x 36in 101.6 x 91.4cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $25,000 - $35,000 CDN
Sold for:   $92,000 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Fine Canadian Art Fall 2007 auction on Friday, November 23, 2007



Record Jean Albert McEwen sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Jean Albert McEwen
Untitled
30 x 30in 76.2 x 76.2cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $25,000 - $30,000 CDN
Sold for:   $92,000 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's May 2008 - 1st session auction on Saturday, May 31, 2008



Record Jean Albert McEwen sale - Heffel Gallery - buy and sell art Jean Albert McEwen
Rupture lumineuse
82 1/4 x 54 1/4in 208.9 x 137.8cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $60,000 - $80,000 CDN
Sold for:   $87,750 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's Fall 2012 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, November 22, 2012


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