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Joan Mitchell and Jean Paul Riopelle sitting together

Anonymous photographer, Joan Mitchell and Jean Paul Riopelle in Chicago, about 1957. Yseult Riopelle Archives. Work shown: Jean Paul Riopelle, Untitled, about 1957. Oil on canvas, 60 × 73 cm. Private collection © Estate of Jean Paul Riopelle / SODRAC (2017)

Mitchell/Riopelle: Nothing in Moderation

Opening February 18, 2018

This exhibition is included with general admission.

Members' Preview:
Friday February 16 from 5 to 9 pm & Saturday February 17, 2018 from 10:30 to 5:30pm.

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When two legendary artists are closely connected for 25 years, what happens to their distinctive artistic styles? This is the question that drives Mitchell/Riopelle: Nothing in Moderation, a groundbreaking exhibition dedicated to the relationship between two powerhouses of abstract painting, American Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) and Canadian Jean Paul Riopelle (1923-2002).

Extraordinary talents and romantic partners, Mitchell and Riopelle stand prominently alongside other modern art couples such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. As is the case with most couples, their relationship ebbed and flowed, which can be tracked through the blending and separation of their respective painting styles. Through more than 50 carefully selected works – most of which are large-format, monumental paintings – the exhibition explores the push and pull of these two remarkable figures.

“Feasts for the eyes, the stunning and breathtaking pictures these painters produced are testaments to these artists’ respect and admiration for one another.  They also reveal that Mitchell and Riopelle took nothing, especially painting, in moderation when they were setting the agenda of abstract art in Europe and North America in the years following World War II,” says Kenneth Brummel, assistant curator, modern art.

An exhibition developed by the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and organized in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario, with the support of the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Yseult Riopelle and Sylvie Riopelle.


Accompanying the exhibition is a 192-page, bilingual, French-English catalogue, the first comprehensive analysis of the relationship between Mitchell and Riopelle. It will include an illustrated chronology with commentary as well as essays by Michel Martin, exhibition curator at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Kenneth Brummel and Yves Michaud, renowned French philosopher and author of many essays on Mitchell and Riopelle.

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