He immersed himself in 1947 in the artistic and intellectual theories of the Paris group around André Breton and developed a gestural technique free of will and psychology. An attempt to re-inject these anti-bourgeois conceptions in Montreal was unconvincing and he settled permanently in Paris in December 1948.
Riopelle covers his canvas with an impasto of vibrant colors crossed by white scars. The paint reaches a considerable thickness which the artist describes as an unintended consequence of his creative act : as long as he is not satisfied with the visual balance of his work, he adds colored materials with his knife.
Such abstract perfectionism applied on the whole surface of the canvas made Riopelle being compared with Pollock and greatly contributed to his international fame.
Around 1955 the artist finds a solution to work in thinner layers. His art then loses its most innovative characteristic that had moved the boundary between painting and sculpture.
An oil on canvas 120 x 200 cm painted in 1951-1952 was sold for € 1,86M including premium by Christie's on June 1, 2012. On May 24 in Toronto, Heffel sells Vent du Nord, oil on canvas 130 x 195 cm painted in 1952-1953, lot 19 estimated CAD $ 1M.
SOLD for CAD $ 7.4M including premium