LOT 037

1923 - 2002

Sans titre
ink and watercolour on paper
signed and dated 1952 and on verso inscribed "M. Mathieu" / "BBT Claire" / "4 avril" and "28 mars"
12 1/2 x 16 1/8 in, 31.8 x 41 cm

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

Sold for: $61,250

Preview at:

Private Estate, Montreal

Yseult Riopelle, Jean Paul Riopelle Catalogue Raisonné, Volume 1, 1939 - 1953, 1999, reproduced page 44 and listed page 419, catalogue #1952.023P.1952

Executed in 1952, this dazzling watercolour is a wonderful example of Jean Paul Riopelle’s early 1950s period. Dabs of saturated cyan, cobalt, crimson, orange and brown cover the entire surface of the paper in a dense, grid-like composition. Over this kaleidoscopic background, Riopelle arranges a complex web-like network of sharp, calligraphic black lines and dots. Although his 1950s works are frequently referred to as “mosaics,” Sans titre perhaps also recalls French Gothic stained-glass windows, with their characteristic palette of Chartres blue and vivid red, and black lead strips outlining individual pieces of coloured glass.

Although Riopelle was only 29 years of age at the time of its production, Sans titre is a remarkably confident work. The pictorial surface is expressive and dynamic, inviting our eye to dance across it. The artist’s vigorous energy and the inspiration brought by the bustle of life in Paris, where he had established himself four years prior, are palpable. At the time, he kept company with fellow artists such as Alberto Giacometti, Georges Mathieu, Zao Wou-Ki and Jacques Germain. Shortly after, in 1953, he joined Galerie Pierre Loeb in Paris and the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York. Sans titre is an outstanding watercolour, with a vivid colour palette and compelling composition, representative of the effervescent period during which it was created.

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

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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