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

Link back to the first
Jean McEwen page

Jean McEwen


Before embarking on an analysis of the recent paintings, it is worth taking a look at the artist’s production since the retrospective exhibition of his work held at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from December 1987 to January 1988. The aim of this review of Jean McEwen’s artistic evolution is to establish the context within which the new works must be examined. For brevity’s sake, I have selected only a few examples from each of the most important series of the past ten years. As well as providing evidence of the painter’s development, this exercise will allow us to fully appreciate the originality of the Barbarian Poems series, which resolutely transgresses the formal categories of American modernism.

<McEwen Image>

ABOVE: The Legend of Yes and No, 1990, oil on canvas, 183x183 cm, Collection: Lorraine and Michel Lacerte.

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McEwen works independently. His production has never really resembled that of the American artists who influenced him at the outset. His personal vocabulary has been developed within an approach that is essentially painterly. Feeling little affinity for minimalism – which he sees as highly reductionist – he has never eradicated the affective element from his art.