Drapell first established his reputation with a series of large, primarily red, abstract canvases, which attracted little attention in Canada until one appeared on the cover of Art International (1978) and another was purchased by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (1979).
Joseph DrapellJoseph Drapell, artist (b at Humpolec, Czech 13 Mar 1940), one of the most important abstract painters in the generation after PAINTERS ELEVEN. He immigrated to Halifax in 1966 and studied at the Cranbrook Academy (Bloomfield Hills, Mich, 1968-70), where he met visiting artist Jack BUSH and American critic Clement GREENBERG. He moved to Toronto and, inspired by Georgian Bay and influenced by Morris Louis, developed his own technique of applying paint with a broad spreading device attached to a movable support (1972-74). The resultant "Great Spirit" pictures rank among the most successful of all Canadian efforts to find spiritual values in the land.
Ken Carpenter, "Joseph Drapell Paints a Picture," Art Post, 7:2 (Winter-Spring, 1990), 12-17; Kenworth Moffett, New New Painting (1992); Karen Wilkin, Joseph Drapell, Ten Years, 1973-1983 1984.