Robert Lepage, the OSM and Les 7 Doigts for Riopelle’s 100th anniversary

The painter Jean Paul Riopelle will be entitled to a tribute to the height of his genius on the occasion of his 100e anniversary in 2023. A tribute that will be spread over five seasons starting in the fall of 2022, orchestrated by some of the most important cultural players in the country.

Josée Lapointe

Josée Lapointe

These celebrations were announced with great fanfare by the Riopelle Foundation on Wednesday morning at the 7 Doigts headquarters in Montreal. Two very beautiful numbers from the show Riopelle life size, which will be dedicated by the circus troupe to the universe of the Quebec painter, were also presented on this occasion.

“Jean Paul Riopelle embodies artistic freedom without compromise and without borders,” said the president of the Riopelle Foundation, the British Columbian businessman and philanthropist Michael J. Audain, according to whom Riopelle is nothing less than ‘a “cultural hero”.

“It’s quite a fresco that we created in his honor”, added Mr. Audain, who admitted that he “never thought” to reach such a level of programming when he created the Fondation il two years ago.

Between the giant mural that will be unveiled by MU in downtown Montreal on October 7, 2022, one year to the day before Riopelle’s centenary, and the large retrospective that will be presented at the Ottawa Museum of Fine Arts in fall 2023, many original productions will celebrate the painter’s ardor, productivity and creativity, drawing inspiration in particular from his spectacular life and his immense love of nature.

Regional projects

In addition to the creation of Les 7 Doigts, which has already taken on another giant of the visual arts, Hieronymus Bosch, there will be an exhibition at the Musée d’art de Joliette, a symphonic and immersive creation by the OSM and GSI Musique, which will first be presented in Montréal en lumière, a creation by Robert Lepage and Ex Machina presented by the Jean-Duceppe company, and even an exhibition at the Maeght Foundation, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence in the south. from France, where the painter lived during the 1960s.

“There are things today that have not been announced. We will not do so for the future, because there are also regional projects ”, explained to us after the press conference the director general of the Riopelle Foundation, Manon Gauthier. The one who worked closely with the painter’s daughter, Yseult Riopelle, was delighted by the enthusiastic response of Quebec creators to the appeal launched by the Foundation two years ago.

There was a craze, like a collective awakening. It’s a little Riopelle coming home. And it took a man from British Columbia, a great Canadian philanthropist, to come and shake our memories.

Manon Gauthier, Executive Director of the Riopelle Foundation

This is how meetings and collaborations began, “some natural, others more improbable,” says Manon Gauthier, who wanted to include as many disciplines as possible. She recalls that Riopelle himself was multidisciplinary – he practiced painting as much as sculpture, engraving or design – and that he liked to mobilize around him all kinds of people and art forms.

This is exactly what the Foundation wanted to do by bringing together all kinds of creators “around the man, the artist, the work”.

“Everyone has a story with Riopelle”

Manon Gauthier’s role was to tie up the threads and plots of projects that had germinated here and there, and to “consolidate” them. Robert Lepage, for example, cherished the idea of ​​a project around Riopelle for 10 years. “So I called him and asked him to join in on the adventure. Then there was the circus, and other projects that took shape on people’s initiative. ”

This is how Manon Gauthier was able to see to what extent the name of Riopelle aroused emotion and memories as much as creativity.

“It was amazing. Everyone has a story, an anecdote with Riopelle. In popular heritage, beyond the work, the art and the art market, there is this proximity, and this is what we are trying to reproduce. And we wanted to anchor all the major projects in Montreal, where he was born, so that he could emerge. ”

While the Riopelle wing project at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which was the Foundation’s most important initiative, was canceled last year by Stéphane Aquin (after the departure of director Nathalie Bondil), It is in Quebec, at the National Museum of Fine Arts, that a brand new pavilion dedicated to the painter will finally be established. It should be inaugurated in 2025, and will also benefit from a major donation of more than 60 works.

This “long-term project” will be “a showcase and a door to Riopelle,” says Manon Gauthier.

“We are happy to be able to mark the history of philanthropy in Quebec,” she adds. And just as happy today to bring him back to his native metropolis, in a program that will be as many windows that will open on the Riopelle horizon. ”

source site-53