Un couple dans la démesure / Nothing in moderation
Texts by Kenneth Brummel and Yves Michaud
First lavishly illustrated publication presenting a side-by-side vision of the two painters despite their 25 years spent together and their respective fame.
This important catalogue is intended as a reference work that synthesizes the creative relationship that united Joan Mitchell (1925-1992), an American painter most often associated with the 1950s New York School’s second generation of abstract expressionists and Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002), thereby relating the 25-or-so years of shared life (1955-1979) of this extraordinary couple over 25 years of production. Written by period and Mitchell and Riopelle specialists, the catalogue will be a tool for readers to hone their appreciation of these two major bodies of work from the second half of the 20th century. It will also highlight the formal, aesthetic and biographical ties that fuelled their respective creative practice.
For the first time ever, a publication will focus on their relationship, from their initial encounter in 1955 to their break up in 1979. Consisting of some 60 masterly works (mostly large-format paintings, a few works on paper, and archival material), this volume will explore how the two artists, who shared each other’s life for nearly a quarter century, first in Paris and then in Vétheuil (in the valley of the Seine), developed highly distinct bodies of work and studio techniques while engaging in a rich dialogue around abstract art. Clearly, their taste for the Impressionist legacy, nature, and a certain penchant for being provocative brought them together. Their concept of painting and their methods proved to be highly individualistic deeply influenced by the tides of their love affair and their relationship to their environment.
Whether drawing attention to the similarities and differences between works that address the same subject, or motifs and inspirations specific to each this book will paint a splendid portrait of two remarkable figures of the international Abstract movement.
Michel Martin, Exhibition Curator and MNBAQ’s former Curator of Contemporary Art (1978 to 2008).
Kenneth Brummel, AGO’s Assistant Curator of Modern Art and a specialist in late 19th century and 20th century American and European art.
Yves Michaud, a French philosopher, essayist and art critic who was the Director of École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts (1989-1997) and editor of the Cahiers du Musée National d’Art Moderne du Centre Georges-Pompidou (1986-1990) before becoming the driving force behind the Université de tous les savoirs (UTLS) as of 1998. The author of numerous essays on contemporary art, Yves Michaud wrote about the work of Joan Mitchell, with whom he had a deep friendship, and about the work of Jean-Paul Riopelle.