Jean McEwen

Canadian, 1923–1999

Rouge sur noir, 1962

oil on canvas

152.8 x 153.2 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of the Women’s Committee



Painting, Canadian Modern (1910-1979)

Jean McEwen abandoned pharmacy studies for art late in his university career. The largely self-taught Montreal painter travelled to Paris in 1951, where he met and worked alongside fellow Quebecois artist Jean-Paul Riopelle, who encouraged him to experiment in abstraction. Back in Canada, McEwen’s artistic career began to accelerate in 1954, after solo exhibitions in Montreal and Ottawa. The layers of paint, a combination of thin glazes and thick impasto, that cover his canvases appear as veils of colour, with shifting transparency. The vertical composition, as seen in Rouge sur noir, is a trademark of his work, and fills his painting with an inherent serenity and meditative quality.

Sign up for e-news

Gallery Hours

  • Tuesday 11am-5pm
  • Wednesday 11am-5pm
  • Thursday 11am-5pm
  • Friday 11am-9pm
  • Saturday 11am-5pm
  • Sunday 11am-5pm
  • Closed Monday

Holiday Hours


WAG Social Media

Share This

This should be hidden