Jean Paul Riopelle was born in Montreal in 1923. After Jean Paul Riopelle had studied painting he moved to Paris in the second half of the 1940s, where he came in contact with the circle of surrealist artists, which led to a fruitful co-operation. Jean Paul Riopelle attained his picture language in the ambivalent context of academic influence and artistic quest: Jean Paul Riopelle's paintings are greatly coined by the artistic concept of "Surrealist automatism", which is why they are close to "Abstract Expressionism".
It is in this context that the works by Jean Paul Riopelle are particularly fascinating. His paintings are webs of dripped and primed traces of paint, which, like an explosion of colors, seem to exuberantly fill the entire image surface in a subtle grace. As the artist works on the material in an impulsive manner, the painting process is like a gestural relinquishing. This work method has its theoretic basis in the philosophy of the artist group "Les Automatistes", which Jean Paul Riopelle's teacher Paul-Émile Borduas brought into being in the early 1940s and of which Riopelle was a member. Another source of inspiration for Jean Paul Riopelle was the relationship with the painter Joan Mitchell, whose works can also be assigned to "Abstract Expressionism".
Besides oil paintings and drawings, Riopelle's comprehensive oeuvre also comprises graphic art and sculptures. In 1981 Jean Paul Riopelle was honored for his extensive artistic creation with the "Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas", which was named after Riopelle's teacher. The artist died in March 2002, his works can be found in renowned international museums and collections, additionally, they have been honored in numerous exhibitions all over the world.