I discovered lately Riopelle work, at first I felt he was painting roughly like an aboriginal kid with straight willow branches, raw materials and colours like red, blue or soft bird feathers .

But my pilot eyes had the natural intuition that most of his work was cartographic painting. I searched some academic background to my theory but I could not find any. However by reading the exhibition book I found out that Riopelle did a lot of sea plane flying over north Canada, as I did myself, and I am pretty sure he was deeply influenced but that vision. His transition from colours to black and white comes from the very particular and fascinating flying north. He was able to access areas of the Canadian Arctic and subarctic seldom seen by anyone other than First Nations and Inuit people.

Jean-Paul Riopelle sea plane flying :