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Jean-Paul Riopelle’s funeral causes controversy

The Story

The ideas espoused in Refus global still shape modern Quebec and its artists. When the great modern painter Jean-Paul Riopelle dies in 2002 at age 78, the decision to hold his funeral at a church proves controversial. Painter Pierre Gauvreau and interior designer Madeleine Arbour boycott Riopelle's funeral held at Montreal's Immaculate Conception Church. Gauvreau and Arbour, who co-signed the Refus global manifesto in 1948 along with Riopelle, stay away out of respect for Riopelle who held strong opinions against the church.

Medium: Television
Program: Canada Now
Broadcast Date: March 18, 2002
Guest(s): Françoise Sullivan, Pierre Théberge
Host: Gloria Macarenko
Reporter: Anna Asimakopulos

Did You know?

• A painting from Jean-Paul Riopelle's famous Mosaiques series (1950s), where he squeezed whole tubes of paint directly onto a canvas, was the first Canadian art to sell for more than $1-million US. That was in 1989 at an auction at Sotheby's.
• Riopelle carried over his spontaneous transcription on canvas of whatever one's spirits suggested, into his life. He was known for his indulgence of food, alcohol, women and fast cars.


Le Refus global: Revolution in the Arts more