Lot # 010
Post-War & Contemporary Art Live auction

Jean Albert McEwen
AANFM RCA 1923 - 1999 Canadian

Grand icône
oil on canvas circa 1963
signed and on verso signed and titled
19 3/4 x 17 3/4 in  50.2 x 45.1cm

Provenance:
Gift of the Artist to a Private Collector, Montreal
Acquired from the above by the present Private Collection, Montreal

Literature:
Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Painting in Canada, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 2007, page 177

This elegant oil on canvas encapsulates the drama and intensity of Jean McEwen’s distinctive approach to colour. Inspired by works from Colour Field painters such as Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, he set down layer upon layer of lustrous oil paint, building up to a mottled surface of delicate tonal variations. Art historian Roald Nasgaard writes about McEwen’s practice: “His continuous coloured textures are built out of strata of superimposed paint layers, sometimes as many as a dozen. Their ever more variegated hues and tones lie in ambiguous depths, sometimes opaque and other times transparent and luminous.” In Grand icône, McEwen arranges a fiery orange cruciform between two textured slabs of mustard yellow. Underlying layers of chartreuse, yellow and black emerge through the mottled surface of the central shape. The four corners of the piece are accentuated by thick rust and crimson squares. With its rich medley of colour and McEwen’s unique handling of paint, Grand icône is intensely vibrant, and each form is imbued with texture and dazzling effects of transparency.

Estimate: $30,000 ~ $50,000 CAD  
Sold for: $37,250 CAD (including Buyer's Premium)

All prices are in Canadian Dollars.

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