Canadian Paintings, Prints and Drawings

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9781554072903: Canadian Paintings, Prints and Drawings
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An up-to-date survey of Canadian art

Canada has a rich and diverse heritage in the fine arts. This book celebrates the color, beauty and energy of some of our most talented artists, among them Emily Carr, Tom Thomson, Paul Kane, David Milne, Alex Colville, Norval Morrisseau and Jean-Paul Riopelle.

Canadian Paintings, Prints and Drawings presents a wide variety of dynamic styles and distinct subject matter. The stunning collection includes late 18th-century watercolor landscapes, art from the 19th-century merchant classes, and works by the Group of Seven, Les Automatistes, Painters Eleven, First Nations and Inuit artists, and contemporary artists on the cutting edge of creativity.

An introduction places these artists in context. The book's informative captions provide a short biography along with commentary on each work's style and subject matter.

Canadian Paintings, Prints and Drawings is an outstanding survey and reference on the work of over 150 of the country's most famous and interesting artists.

Among the more than 150 artists featured in Canadian Paintings, Prints and Drawings:

  • Kenojuak Ashevak
  • Rebecca Belmore
  • William Berczy
  • David Blackwood
  • Paul-Emile Borduas
  • Jack Bush
  • Emily Carr
  • A.J. Casson
  • Alex Colville
  • Emily Coonan
  • Maurice Cullen
  • Ken Danby
  • Paterson Ewen
  • Lionel LeMoine Fitzgerald
  • Clarence Gagnon
  • Betty Goodwin
  • Lawren Harris
  • Prudence Heward
  • Edwin Holgate
  • A.Y. Jackson
  • Alex Janvier
  • Helen Kalvak
  • Paul Kane
  • Cornelius Krieghoff
  • William Kurelek
  • Attila Richard Lukacs
  • J.E.H. Macdonald
  • David Milne
  • James Wilson Morrice
  • Norval Morrisseau
  • Daphne Odjig
  • Jessie Oonark
  • Paul Peel
  • Jean-Paul Riopelle
  • Jack Shadbolt
  • Michael Snow
  • Takao Tanabe
  • Tom Thomson
  • Harold Town
  • Frederick H. Varley

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About the Author:

Anne Newlands worked for twenty-seven years as an educator and researcher-writer at the National Gallery of Canada. She is the author of numerous books including Canadian Paintings, Prints and Drawings, Canadian Art: From Its Beginnings to 2000, Clarence Gagnon: An Introduction to His Life and Art, Emily Carr: An Introduction to Her Life and Art, and The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson: An Introduction. She is currently writing a book about the Quebec textile artist Mariette Rousseau-Vermette (1926-2006).

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Excerpted from the
Introduction

"Artistic expression is a spirit, not a method, a pursuit, not a settled goal, an instinct, not a body of rules,"
Foreword, Group of 7 Exhibition of Paintings, Exhibition Catalogue, Art Gallery of Toronto, 1922

This book introduces 164 of Canada's best known artists from across the country whose paintings, prints and drawings span a period from the 17th century to the very beginnings of the 21st. It offers an odyssey through the rich diversity of expression by male and female artists, First Nations and Inuit artists, and those of European descent. Over the huge range of time, place and identity, the challenge for all remained the same: a confrontation with a fiat two-dimensional surface, a blank slate -- be it rock, hide, paper or canvas -- that awaited the hand, the gesture, the mark of the image-maker. And while exclusions are infinite, it is important to mention that in the immense arena of Canadian art, the selections for this book inevitably rule out sculpture, installation art, photography, video, textile arts, glass, ceramics and all art in three dimensions.

In selecting only 164 artists from among the tens of thousands who have been documented, I was interested in the regional and ethnic diversity across the country, from the past and the present. I have also sought to present the vast artistic imagination brought to the timeless themes of the figure, portraits, landscapes, beliefs, abstraction, fears and dreams. Preference has also been given to works in public collections in the hope that readers may someday have the opportunity to encounter the original works.

The difficult challenge of selecting artists was compounded by the equally formidable task of choosing a single image to represent an artist's prolific career. Although the work featured is often typical of an artist's production, it is important to see it not as a summing up but, rather, as a glimpse into a lifetime of creative expression.

The artists are arranged alphabetically, which removes them from predictable associations and chronological relationships and frees them from the standard linear narratives of traditional art histories. On these pages, art and artists forge new connections that raise fresh questions and invite renewed consideration of their distinct individuality. In the accompanying texts, I have concentrated on the visual quality of the work and on the artist's use of the language of art -- colour, line, shape and texture -- as powerfully expressive tools. Looking at art is an active and creative process that demands opening oneself to new worlds and new ways of seeing. Looking at art takes time and promises the patient viewer an odyssey of insights and adventures.

Finally, in the paragraphs that follow, as a complement to the alphabetical layout, I have situated the artists and their work in their historical contexts, sweeping over time and geography with very broad brushstokes.

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