An impressive collection of nearly 100 works by iconic Canadian artist Alex Colville will open for public viewing at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) on August 23, 2014 and run until January 4, 2015. This is the largest exhibition ever assembled to date consisting of the late artist’s work on loan from private collectors, galleries and museums. Known as a realist and for painting personal subject matter, Colville’s painstakingly precise images capture moments on the edge of the unknown.
The pieces have been grouped by themes rather than chronological order and offers insight into how his creativity extends to film, literature and music. Some pieces have never been shown to the public including the iconic painting Horse and Train (1953) that was incorporated into the set of the film The Shining.
“When you see the exhibition I hope you will feel as I do that it is both an intellectual journey and an emotional journey that really engages you in his great sustained vision,” says Matthew Teitelbaum, Director and CEO of the AGO.
Andrew Hunter, the AGO’s Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, mentioned how over time we tend to pigeon-hole artists and use phrases to describe their work. “For a long time Colville was referred to as a realist painter from the Maritimes,” said Hunter. “For a lot of people that’s what they know. It can be helpful but it can also be very narrow. For many people ‘realist’ could mean that he was exceptionally good at creating photo-like paintings but that isn’t what Colville’s work is about. Colville once said that he felt he was a good realist painter because he invented his world and constructed things. But it was also about how he saw the world not just how he painted. He was realistic about the state of the world and the goal is to remind people about how Colville saw the world.”
Alex Colville was born in Toronto in 1920. In 1929 his family moved to Nova Scotia and this is where he lived for the rest of his life. Colville is considered by many as “the most important realist painter of the Western world.” He was a painter, printmaker and veteran who drew his inspiration from the world around him… Alex Colville past away in 2013 just months after his wife death.
Visit www.welcomtocolville.ca for details.
The exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada.
In addition to the exhibition, public programming is always worth checking out!
Welcome to Colville
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Baillie Court, Art Gallery of Ontario
Artists, writers, musicians and other creative thinkers respond to the work of Alex Colville during this cabaret-style evening.
Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell
Friday, November 28, 2014 2 p.m. Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario Public $12 | Members $10 | Students $8
Sarah Polley’s award winning documentary Stories We Tell (2012-13) explores truth and memory, aging and loss. These themes feature prominently in Alex Colville, particularly in the paintings of Rhoda and Alex Colville, which emphasize a lifetime of engagement between artist and model, husband and wife. (108 minutes)
Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom
Friday, November 28, 2014 4:30 p.m. Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario Public $12 | Members $10 | Students $8
Set in 1965, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom features the repeated visual quoting of Alex Colville’s iconic painting of the same year, To Prince Edward Island. (94 minutes)
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen’s No Country for Old Men
Friday, November 28, 2014 6:30 p.m. Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario. Public $12 | Members $10 | Students $8
Alex Colville was deeply interested in the work of the Coen brothers, filmmakers who, like Colville, engage with the potential for evil, violence and danger within deceptively simple tales. No Country for Old Men with its layers of damaged and flawed characters, all profoundly marked by history and who reflect diverse embodiments of good and evil is set in a very distinct rural landscape. (122 minutes)
Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining
Friday, November 28, 2014 9 p.m. Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario Public $12 | Members $10 | Students $8
Stanley Kubrick,a filmmaker as obsessive about detail as Alex Colville, included four of Colville’s works in his masterpiece of horror The Shining with Horse and Train centrally positioned in a critical opening scene. (144 minutes)
Animal Art Sundays
October 5 to December 14, 2014 (10 weeks) 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Ages 6-8
Using drawing, paint and sculpture and other image-making mediums, the AGO explore the extraordinary role of animals in our lives. Students will learn how to draw and paint and sculpt in realistic ways, using their own world and the art of Alex Colville as inspiration.
Family Sundays: Colville Sundays
November 2 – 30, 2014
Crazy about dogs!! The AGO kicks-off the season of Family Sundays with an ode to our most beloved of pets – the dog! Inspired by the art of Alex Colville, think, act and like your favorite dog – paint dog faces, make dog ears and tails, run an agility course, learn tricks and hold our own pretend dog show with ribbons! They may even have real therapy dogs on hand! It’s a dog’s world!