Jean Albert McEwen


Jean McEwen (1923-1999) is one of the most original, distinctive and collected Canadian abstract artists. Essentially self-taught, McEwen started painting in 1946 while studying pharmacy at the University of Montreal.

Paul-Émile Borduas discovered McEwen at his first solo show at Galerie Agnùs Lefort in 1951. Borduas became a friend and mentor and helped propel McEwen's career. Shortly after, McEwen went to France where he formed associations with Jean-Paul Riopelle and other American artists working in Paris.

Back to Montreal, McEwen was committed to abstraction, influenced by French impressionism and American abstract expressionism. Although he continued to work in the pharmaceutical industry, he participated in many solo and group exhibitions in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. The artist established his reputation and captured the interest of Toronto gallerist Walter Moos, who introduced McEwen to New York dealer Martha Jackson.

McEwen’s professional career took an important turn in 1973 - year of this work on paper -, when he resigned his position at his pharmaceutical company and focused solely on his art practice. That same year, the MusĂ©e d’art contemporain de MontrĂ©al organized a retrospective exhibition of his work.

Like the best of McEwen's work, this evocative print captures the artist's mastery of transparent and opaque forms, that recalls clouds or phantoms. 

McEwen was the recipient of several Canadian awards and international honors. He is also remembered as an important and influential instructor at Concordia University, Montreal. Today his work can be found in numerous public and private  collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, among others.

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Canada, 1973

Signed, numbered and dated in pencil

Styria Studio (NYC) blind stamp lower right

Edition of 75


29.5”W 22”H (work)

34"H 26"W (frame)

Minor wear to frame

Very good condition

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