Never-before-seen work from Jean Paul Riopelle coming to the MMFA

Andréanne Roy, art historian and guest curator of the exhibition.

As part of the exhibition Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures, which will take place as soon as Quebec museums are able to reopen, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) will present Jean Paul Riopelle's Fontaine, shown to the public for the very first time.

Begun at the foundry in Meudon, France, around 1964 and completed at Saint-Cyr-en-Arthies in 1977, this four-metre sculpture of polychrome plaster and rope was transported to the artist's studio in Estérel in the Laurentians in 1997 and stored there until recently. Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures will be the first opportunity for the public to view this monumental work, recently restored by the Museum's Conservation Service.

Riopelle (1923-2002), is considered one of Canada's most important and prolific artists of the 20th century. Based on original research, the exhibition will explore the artist's interest in the North and Indigenous cultures, with nearly 175 works and more than 200 artefacts and archival documents. It will shed new light on the artist's work during the 1950s and 1970s by retracing the travels and influences that fed his fascination with northern regions and North American Indigenous communities.

— Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

— AB

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