The only Canadian artist involved with the seminal post-World War II School of Paris, Jean-Paul Riopelle was in dialogue with artists such as Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miró, and André Breton when he made his surrealism-inspired, abstract paintings. Riopelle employed a tachiste style, which he achieved by applying oil paint in thick, demonstrative strokes with palette knives. He also worked with gouache, watercolor, and ink and experimented with bronze sculpture. When pop art and nouveau réalisme became popular in the 1960s, Riopelle introduced representational elements back into his work. These later paintings have been described as “abstract landscapism.” Later in his life, Riopelle also incorporated figuration and multimedia components into his signature gestural paintings.
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