Jean McEwen

La séduction de l'acrylique
Sept. 12, 2012 to Oct. 13, 2012

La séduction de l’acrylique brings together some dozen works Jean McEwen painted in acrylic between 1965 and 1969, as well as a number of lithographs the artist produced during the same decade. The year 1965 marked a turning point in Jean McEwen’s career as, for the first time, he used acrylic, rather than oil, paint. A development that was all the more surprising given how important texture and medium were to him. However, the new approach—similar to that of hard-edge painting, a trend then gaining in importance and influence in both Québec and the United States, with the work of artists like Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly and Kenneth Noland—enabled the painter to focus on the play of pure colour, without being beguiled by its materiality. McEwen continued his explorations in this vein until 1970, when, at the same time as he distanced himself from formalism, he gave up using acrylic, having come to the conclusion that the medium imposed too many restrictions on him. He went back to painting in oil, the practice he favoured for the rest of his life.

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