G111 Exhibitions
Art Rental Service
School of Art
University of Manitoba

Link to essay by curator
Constance Naubert-Riser

Link to reproductions
of Jean McEwen works
and descriptive texts by
Constance Naubert-Riser

Link to installation shots

Link to chronology
of Jean McEwen's life

Link to Galerie Simon Blais

Jean McEwen
Jean McEwen, 1964
ABOVE: Montréal painter Jean McEwen (1923-1999) in 1964.

Curated by Constance Naubert-Riser for Gallery One One One.

The opening reception for this exhibition happened on Thursday 21 October, 2004. The Jean McEwen show continues to 19 November 2004. Gallery hours: Noon to 4 PM weekdays. Closed weekends and 11 November.

The public is invited to hear a talk by Constance Naubert-Riser on Wednesday evening, November 17 at 7 PM in 207 Fitzgerald, University of Manitoba, within the context of the "Art History Presents" lecture series. The talk is tentatively entitled "The Power of Colour: Jean McEwen in Context."

Winnipeg is a city in which the tradition of painting has been of primary importance. The late work of Jean McEwen speaks to this tradition with a Québec accent, an accent not heard nearly enough on the prairies. Along with the concomitant translation in English of the catalogue of Poèmes Barbare, this show is a vital contribution to the continuing dialogue of Québec-Manitoba painting, a dialogue begun by Tony Tascona during his stay in Montréal in the early 60s.

The 2004-2005 season at Gallery One One One highlights the work of an older generation of artists within an art scene that is often referred to by the local, national and international press as being dominated by a "youthquake." This exhibition will present the late abstract work of Jean McEwen to Winnipeg just as a revival of formalist painting is taking shape in the works of many young Winnipeg artists, for example Paul Butler, Jake Kosiuk, Chris MacDonald, and members of the "26" collective such as Melanie Rocan and Cyrus Smith.

Naubert-Riser: "Informed by hindsight, Jean McEwen’s work emerges as indissociable from that of an entire generation of 1950’s painters who took a stand as advocates of non-figurative painting whose principal subject matter was the modulation of colour. McEwen remained true to this inaugural choice, as indeed his long career and its impassioned involvement with colour testifies. The importance of his work in the history of Canadian painting needs no vindication, particularly since 1987 when the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts mounted a major retrospective After that time, far from the currents of the avant garde, his work continued to unfold sequentially, in series, acquiring that distinctive force that only the solitude of the studio can produce. It is work that at once acts on and reflects on colour. Oscillating between transparency and opacity, his paintings elude ideation in order to transcend it, making the viewer see what concepts inevitably fall short of."

Gallery One One One wishes to give special thanks to: Constance Naubert-Riser, Indra McEwen, Judith Terry for translation, Juliette Fallu, Simon Blais, Oliver Botar, Terri Fuglem, Patrick Harrop, The Manitoba Arts Council.

The "Jean McEwen:Last Works" CD-ROM also contains information about other Gallery One One One exhibitions. Gallery One One One, School of Art, Main Floor, FitzGerald Building, University of Manitoba Fort Garry campus, Winnipeg, MB, CANADA R3T 2N2 TEL:204 474-9322 FAX:474-7605

For information please contact Robert Epp