A Tribute to Alex Colville, 1920 - 2013
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection wishes to acknowledge with sadness the passing of renowned Canadian artist Alex Colville. A painter, engraver, sketch artist and muralist, Colville created iconic works that made him one of Canada’s most celebrated and beloved modern artists.
Born in Toronto in 1920, Colville served in the Canadian Army from 1942 to 1946, working as a military artist between 1944 and 1946. He then taught painting and art history at Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., before leaving in 1963 to devote himself to painting.
Throughout his career, Colville received numerous awards and honours in recognition of his contribution to Canada’s artistic cannon. He was named a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1982, and won a Governor General’s Visual and Media Arts Award in 2003.
“Alex Colville is undoubtedly Canada's best-known post war artist,” said McMichael Chief Curator Katerina Atanassova. “His unique painting style is evident in Milk Truck, a work in the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Its composition and choice of subject matter reveal the artist's unique ability to bestow dignified simplicity and serenity to scenes from everyday life—a signature characteristic of his style.”
It is fitting that Colville’s work is part of the current exhibition Pluralities/Polarities 1950s – 1990s: Selections from the McMichael Collection as it features artists who contributed markedly to the dynamic portrait of Canadian art that emerged after World War II.
His work has also appeared in a number of the gallery’s past exhibitions, including Distinctly Canadian in 1993, Favourite 40 in 2006, and Child’s Play in 2009.
Image: Alex Colville (1920-2013), Milk Truck, 1959, oil and synthetic resin on hardboard, 65.4 x 65.4 cm, Gift of ICI Canada Inc., McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1995.19.12
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