For over twenty years Simon Blais, a recognized expert on the work of Jean Paul Riopelle, has promoted the artist and his oeuvre through publishing monographs, and organizing exhibitions and other public events. With the exhibition Mes amitiés, Riopelle, which will be on view in its Galleries 2 and 3, Galerie Simon Blais offers a fresh perspective on a selection of his prints. To be precise, the many works on paper will be reinterpreted through the lens of the numerous friendships Riopelle forged with the artists of his time. Analogies will therefore be made between the Riopelle etchings, lithographs and collages on display in parallel with works by friends of his such as Zao Wou-Ki, Françoise Sullivan, Sam Francis, Marcelle Ferron, Roseline Granet, Norman Bluhm and Jean McEwen.
It has to be said that, in addition to his immense artistic talent and capacity for hard work, Jean Paul Riopelle knew how to surround himself with stimulating, like-minded people throughout his career. With the passage of time, it is clear that Riopelle and his friends helped shape the international avant-garde in the visual arts.