Lot Sale Results

Jean Albert McEwen

Jean Albert McEwen

Jean Albert McEwen
Post-War & Contemporary Art Live auction

Lot # 012

Jean Albert McEwen
AANFM RCA 1923 - 1999 Canadian

Sans titre (from the series Jardin de givre) / Sans titre (verso)
double-sided oil on canvas
on verso signed and inscribed "5255 Côte-St-Luc" on a label and dated 1954
70 x 50 in  177.8 x 127cm

A gift from the Artist to Yvonne Thomas
A gift from the above to the present Private Collection, Paris, circa 1998

Ah ! comme la neige a neigé !

Ma vitre est un jardin de givre.

Ah ! comme la neige a neigé !

Qu’est-ce que le spasme de vivre

À la douleur que j’ai, que j’ai !

- Émile Nelligan, excerpt from “Soir d’hiver” (circa 1898)

Oh! how the snow’s been snowing!

My window pane is a garden of frost.

Oh! how the snow’s been snowing!

What is the spasm of living

to the painful grief I have, I have!

This impressive double-sided oil on canvas, with its tempestuous ecru surface accented by yellow, is a rare work from a series entitled Jardin de givre (Garden of Frost) that McEwen completed in 1955. The series title is a reference to Émile Nelligan’s famous poem “Soir d’hiver,” which made a powerful impression on the artist, who translated its gripping stanzas into restless and layered painterly gestures. During the 1950s, McEwen moved away from Automatism and developed the unique handling of colour and texture for which he is known. Inspired by works from Colour Field painters such as Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, he would set layer upon layer of lustrous oil paint on his canvas, building up to a surface of dazzling tonal variations and depth. This work was acquired by the present private collection from Abstract Expressionist painter Yvonne Thomas, to whom McEwen gifted this painting. As well as McEwen, she associated with other well-known artists such as Robert Motherwell and Hans Hofmann during her time in New York. Also noteworthy is that a trace of the artist’s hand is visible in the upper right quadrant of the work, an ethereal reminder of the artist’s presence. On verso is a painting dated 1954.

Estimate: $30,000 ~ $50,000 CAD

Sold For: $49,250.00 CAD (including buyer's premium)

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