In 1955, Jean Paul Riopelle began working with gouache, which he enjoyed using for its opacity. His use of this medium led him to redefine his approach, and his series Masque Eskimo (1955) and Sous le mythe de Gitksan (1956) are characterized by the definitive absence of vegetation which was often represented in his previous ink and watercolor works. Incidentally, when Riopelle began using gouache on paper, his brush strokes grew wider and the drippings he had abandoned in 1953 appeared once more. The compositions were freer than in his earlier, more structured gouaches; a particularity that can also be observed in his other works from this period.
Riopelle went on to produce approximately forty oil on paper works in 1958, with more than thirty left untitled. He titled only his favourite pieces, such as this one, which carries a rather poetic caption. Au-delà des mansardes most certainly deserves a collector’s full attention.