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Riopelle painting graces national gallery

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A highly regarded Canadian lyrical abstract artist's distinguished painting is on show at the Bermuda National Gallery until Saturday.

Jean-Paul Riopelle's piece Hibou — meaning owl in French — is the latest instalment of the gallery's popular Private Collection Series.

Created in 1958, the oil on canvas painting is said to have represented several meanings for Riopelle, as owls were a subject matter referenced several times throughout his career.

They are said to have signified his passion for nature and symbolised the tension between man, nature and death, while paying homage to the legendary naturalist, Archibald Belaney also known as Grey Owl.

Riopelle achieved international acclaim as a leading modern Canadian artist and important figure in postwar French art. He died, aged 78, in 2002.

His artwork can be found in collections at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC.

The Private Collection Series, which features items loaned anonymously to the gallery, has previously included Sèvres porcelain, a sculpture by Auguste Rodin and a painting by Norman Lewis.

Lisa Howie, director of the gallery, told The Royal Gazette: “This exhibition series gave the community an opportunity to have a sneak peek at private collections, to learn more about select artworks and artists, and to further one's appreciation for and enjoyment of the visual arts.

“The feedback has been very positive and attendance to the BNG did see an increase which increased our revenue for the summer months.

“We are most grateful to the local art collectors who participated this summer — their trust in the BNG is very much appreciated.”

The series is expected to return in 2016.

Acclaimed work: Janet Pyra, a BNG volunteer, views Hibou by Jean-Paul Riopelle (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Painting by Jean-Paul Riopelle (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published September 03, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated September 03, 2015 at 3:24 am)

Riopelle painting graces national gallery

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